Are such statements true? Are they Untrue? there is no definite answer. Such statements may be true in some cases and not true in most cases. I would like to put forth my argument to bring out that just because the stores items (including advance equipment for armed forces), machines, etc are bought following tendering process where L1 vendor supplies the items, they can not be substandard unless some person has compromised the process.
Let us look at it as to why? Everything that is bought is based on detailed Specification drawn out by the user. It is thus plain that if things are bought on strict specifications they have to be good even if at lowest cost.
Also when important items are bought they are generally bought on two bid system called technical
bid, qualifying the vendors and the stores and financial bid, where bids of vendors who qualify on technical bid alone are opened, a sure method to ensure quality of both stores and vendors.
In some cases one additional step of prequalification of vendors can be done.
Another method to ensure only serious vendors can quote is giving tender documents to only few vendors using Limited Tender method.
Only after all this is ensured the lowest bidder is asked to supply the store. In such a scenario substandard items can come in only and only if the process is compromised by an insider. In that case the system is compromised. Even when this system is good, once compromised in becomes bad.