House committee calls for more medical facilities for troops at forward locations

Source: The post is based on the article “House committee calls for more medical facilities for troops at forward locations” published in The Hindu on 14th December 2022

What is the News?

The Public Accounts Committee(PAC) has released a report titled “Provisioning, procurement and issue of High Altitude Clothing, Equipment, Ration and Housing”.

What are the key observations made by PAC in the report?

There should not be any “gap” in supply of clothing, equipment, ration and provisioning of accommodation for soldiers engaged in safeguarding the country’s borders under difficult weather conditions in high-altitude regions. To bridge this gap, it has given the following recommendations:

Firstly, Complete the Computerised Inventory Control Project(CICP): It is an automated centralized database created for effective inventory management and procurement for the Indian Army.

The Phase III of the project is yet to be completed. On completion of this phase, computerisation of all India inventory visibility will be achieved. 

Secondly, overhaul the contracting process between the Defence Ministry and vendors with built-in contractual responses and contractual liabilities on them; and outcome-oriented monitoring of expenditure and revenue and capital procurement. This would also aid in the reduction of procurement timelines.

Thirdly, the Defence Ministry should collaborate with friendly countries with similar terrain/ geographical conditions and learn from their experiences for technical specifications. 

Fourthly, It should periodically review and get feedback from troops deployed in high-altitude areas in terms of taste, quality and hygienic conditions of rations.

Fifthly, Comprehensive medical facilities should be available for troops at forward locations.

Sixthly, Oil PSUs could construct more underground storage tanks as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities

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