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Defence ministry audit questions DRDO functioning

August 13, 2012 21:42 IST

An internal audit report ordered by the defence ministry has raised questions over the functioning of the DRDO and the grant of Rs 2.8 crore by its chief V K Saraswat to a society under him.

The report prepared by the Finance wing of the defence ministry has raised several issues in its review and the transparency of the research agency with a budget of over Rs 5,000 crore, defence sources said.

The report has questioned the grant of Rs 2.8 crore by Saraswat to a mathematical society The report has also pointed out that to avoid seeking approvals from the competent financial authorities, the DRDO was splitting the sanctions for its projects, they said.

It has also cited shortcomings in the products developed by the DRDO such as the Arjun tank, which has been found to be overweight by the Army for operations in certain areas along the border.

However, the DRDO said the issues raised in the report "are essentially in the nature of preliminary observations" and it was "vitiated by a faulty audit process".

"Such preliminary observations are required to be formally issued and replies to the same should be sought prior to compilation of any report. Only if the replies are not satisfactory is the next step of making a preliminary report taken.

"In the extant case, the laid down procedure was not followed and to that extent, the process of audit stands vitiated. Thus, even before seeking replies of DRDO, presumption and baseless conclusions appear to have been arrived at," DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta said.

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