QUEPEM (Goa): After a delay of over an year, the much-awaited new defence procurement policy was unveiled by the government on Monday with an aim to ensure transparency, fast-track acquisition process and give a push to the “Make in India” initiative.
The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) — 2016 announced by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, however, did not contain a key chapter on the proposed strategic partnership. Parrikar said it will take another 2-3 months for finalization of this model.
To be applicable from April, the procurement policy lays the roadmap on how India, the world’s largest arms importer, will acquire defence equipment in the future.
The announcement was made at the inaugural ceremony of Defence Expo (Defexpo) 2016, the largest ever of its type to be hosted by India, at Quepem town, about 50km from Panaji.
The new DPP has included a new category to acquire weapons — IDDM (indigenously designed, developed and manufactured). The IDDM will be the first preferred category of preference.
Parrikar said that a review of the new DPP will be undertaken after six months.
“I do not say that the document is foolproof. Let us take a review after six months. Nothing is perfect but we are taking it to perfection,” Parrikar said.
He said the DPP can push the agenda of ‘Make in India’ and India’s target of achieving defence industry network. With the new DPP, it will be ensured that there is greater transparency and faster clearances, he said.
The DPP has been loaded online on the defence ministry’s website and would be made available in hard copy format after 15 days.
Parrikar said certain concerns of foreign companies which were expressed in the past, would be addressed through this policy in the next three to four months. The new policy also allows the Defence Acquisition Council to take a “fast-track” route to acquire weapons, something which was limited to only the armed forces till now.
In a bid to cut down on the time taken for acquisition process, it mandates that all AONs (acceptance of necessity) of a particular platform will be valid for only six months as against the 12-month deadline now.
Also, no AON will be notified until it is accompanied by a finalized RFP (request for proposal or tender). This means that the time taken for an RFP is cut down drastically. Parrikar said defence export clearances are to be granted online. He said the policy will also include “Start-up India” initiative.
Technology is changing every year and India has the capability to use it in defence production, he observed.
“We expect that new policy will make the world take advantage of technological revolution across India,” he said.
Parrikar had earlier said the new blacklisting policy will also be issued separately next month and made it clear that there will be “no relaxation” for those who have already been blacklisted and “bribe givers” will be punished.
However, the existing blacklisted firms will be allowed to appeal before a vigilance committee of the defence ministry for delisting under the new policy.