I know its NOT Navy but somethings never change no matter what the service. Indian troops drinking military into the red NEW DELHI - India's million-plus army is consuming much more alcohol than permitted, causing huge financial losses to the state and raising suspicions of widespread black marketeering, a report said Thursday. Among the biggest culprits is the Indian army's most prestigious hospital in New Delhi and a military spy unit attached to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office, the Midday evening newspaper said. When contacted by AFP, defence ministry and army sources confirmed there was a serious problem. Indian soldiers are allowed a certain amount of heavily-subsidised liquor for personal consumption, but the report said the limit was being widely flouted. It said 43 army units had inflicted a loss of around 100 million rupees (at least two million dollars) on the government over the past 18 months, the paper said. "We suspect some of it is finding its way into the civilian market and we are trying to plug it," a colonel from the army's Central Stores Department told AFP. A major-general was arrested in 2005 after he smuggled two truck-loads of liquor to the open market, where military alcohol can be sold for double the price soldiers pay. The army recently issued smart cards to its 1.23 million troopers keep tabs on consumption. __________________ "We suspect some of it is finding its way into the civilian market and we are trying to plug it..." It is not a suspected thing, but very well known fact. Also, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NEW IN THIS. From personal experience, I can tell you this has been going on for at least 40 YEARS. And, it is not liquor alone: almost everything available in the army "canteen" (heavily subsidised) finds its way into "civilian" markets. Suitcases, briefcases, cosmetics etc. One examaple: shopkeepers used to get the hair dressing, "Vaseline Hair Tonic", from army canteens and sell it to their customers: till some civic authorities (I don't know exactly which one), started taking punitive action against such shops if the label on the bottles indicated that it was army supply. Very disturbing is the fact that high ranking army officers do it, using "soldiers" (e.g, "Other Ranks") as their delivery men. In the light of these facts, it may not be correct to blame the phenomenon on UPA government's failure "to give the soldiers a decent salary." Salaries paid to personnel of our armed forces are certainly not commensurate with the service they give to the nation, but this is not the main incentive for the thievery." There goes the defence budget!