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CAG raps defence ministry for delay in ship building

Taking the performance audit between 1998-2009, the CAG sought to review three projects at varying stages of construction, the (Project)P-15A (Destroyer), P-17 (Frigate) and P-28 (ASW Corvettes).

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Audit watchdog, the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) has slammed the ministry of defence (MoD), the navy and the government shipyards tasked with shipbuilding for poor cost estimation, delay in ship building, design, technology and infrastructure issues, financial management, procurement and old and aging platforms with no fresh inductions keeping the increasing role of the navy in mind.

Taking the performance audit between 1998-2009, the CAG sought to review three projects at varying stages of construction, the (Project)P-15A (Destroyer), P-17 (Frigate) and P-28 (ASW Corvettes).

Tabled in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the report said the Indin Navy was facing large shortfalls against its planned levels owing to delays in the above mentioned projects. Because of delays in finalisation of structural drawings and availability in material, and would have to continue with reduced fleet strength.

The report says, “The three Defence PSU shipyards tasked with this responsibility, Mazgaon Dock Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers  and Goa Shipyard Ltd, differ widely in their role, areas of strength and outputs. Put together, the present ship building capacity of these Defence PSUs based on past averages is close to four ships per year - a number too low to meet the expectations of Navy.”

The audit talks about unrealistic estimates at the time of project sanction and the absence of a professional mechanism to provide reliable and accurate data regarding costs. Undue delays in the conclusion of the contracts leading to weak contractual management of costs and timelines are other audit objections.

Long periods of ship-building, according to the CAG, introduces an element of uncertainty and difficulty in estimating cost of ship building projects, along with modern, state-of- the-art weapons and sensors, some of which are imported or under development, adding to the ambiguity with regard to their costs.

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