Government to have a second look at defence procurements
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said speedy indigenisation in defence production is essential to eliminate corruption in procurement process. Addressing the Second International Seminar on Army Air Defence, Antony said the armed forces, the government, the DRDO, the industry—both public and private sector should come together in a mission mode so that the country can achieve maximum for indigenisation in a reasonable framework of time. He assured that the government would provide all support required to achieve this objective.
Antony said the government is going to have a second look at both the Defence Procurement Procedure and the Defence Production Policy and amend it in a manner so that the industry can take more interest in defence production.
Referring to the recent allegations of corruption in a defence deal, Antony said the government had taken stringent action against six companies which had resorted to unethical practices in securing other defence contracts. He said it is regrettable that lessons have not been learned from that episode. Antony said the country can’t afford to lose poor taxpayers’ money for greedy players in the field.
The Minister had a word of advice to the armed forces. He said while drawing up the list of products for their operational requirements, the Services should look at the availability of the same in the country first. “Imports should be the last resort,” he said. The Minister added that the public and the private sectors have to synergise their competencies in creating capabilities for technologies in niche areas. This would promote self-reliance and foster our endeavour towards modernisation. It is important that the private sector emerges as a major player, fully geared to meet various operational requirements of our armed forces with requisite knowledge, expertise and wherewithal. It is extremely relevant to appreciate each other’s concerns, strengths and opportunities which are thrown up in this process. A strong and vibrant partnership between the public and private sector is crucial for delivering the much-needed defence technological upgradation.
Antony said, our domestic defence industry is at a take-off stage. We need collaboration at the global level to leverage the benefits of the latest available technologies. Government’s policy on Offset is expected to facilitate this. “I would urge the industry to come forward and take advantage of this policy.”