New Defence Procurement Policy in place now

July 9th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) A key committee headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony Wednesday put its seal of approval on the Defence Procurement Policy 2008, which will make procurement a time-bound and transparent process. “The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) stamped the DPP-2008 and it will be operationalised from Aug 1,” defence ministry principal spokesman Sitanshu Kar said.

The ministry is likely to make a formal announcement about the DPP later this month.

Besides Antony, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Defence Secretary (Production) Pradeep Kumar, Director General (Acquisition) Shashi Kant Sharma, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Deepak Kapoor and representatives of the navy and air force attended the DAC meeting here.

“The DPP incorporates the cumulative and collective experience of the services and the ministry with regards to the procurement process in the last two years,” Kar added.

The biggest experience of the procurement was when the deal with Eurocopter, the world’s largest chopper maker, was called off at the last moment. Eurocopter was on the point of bagging the Indian Army deal when this was abruptly cancelled late last year on the ground that the company had fielded the Ecureuil civilian and not the Fennec military version at the trials.

“Suitable amendments have also been affected to pave the way for speedier procurement of systems and platform while ensuring transparency,” Kar added.

According to defence sources, the new policy is likely to have provisions for time-bound acquisitions, banking offset credits and transfer of technology.

Earlier this year, Antony made the government’s stand on the issue very clear when he said there would be “no question of middlemen in defence deals.”

He ruled out any compromise on transparency. “Of course, we cancelled two-three contracts. Do you want us to compromise on transparency? Even at a later stage when we find something is wrong somewhere, we are not concerned about the status of the company, we will cancel it,” he said.

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