Government approves new Defence Procurement Policy

RSTV Bureau
File Photo: Union Minister for Defense, Manohar Parrikar inspects the Guard of Honour.

File Photo: Union Minister for Defense, Manohar Parrikar inspects the Guard of Honour.

In a bid to streamline the defence purchases and bring transparency in the acquisition process, a high level committee of defence ministry today approved the new defence procurement policy. The new procurement policy is also expected to fast track decision making process in the sector where defence orders take several years, some times upto decades to acquire a new weapon system for Indian forces.

However, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, did not finalise the key chapter on strategic partnership, which the Minister said will be done in another couple of months.

Parrikar 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 Minister said that existing blacklisted firms will be allowed to appeal before a vigilance committee of the defence Ministry for delisting under the new policy.

“The DAC has given the final node to the new DPP. We expect that the new DPP will be loaded on to our website on March 28. It will be effective from April 2,” Parrikar told reporters here.

The Minister underlined, that procedure is only a small proportion of what has to be done. “Mindset of people has to change. There is too much of unnecessary secrecy in defence procurement,” he said.

Many aspects of the DPP was already cleared by the DAC in February. This included a new category to acquire weapons – IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured).

French fighter Rafale. A deal to acquire medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for Air Force is under process since 2004.

French fighter Rafale. A deal to acquire medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for Air Force is under process since 2004.

The DAC has said that IDDM will be the first preferred category of preference under new DPP, which will guide how India buys its arms and equipment for its armed forces.

The new DPP also allows the DAC to take a “fast-track” route to acquire weapons, something which was limited to only the armed forces till now.

“There is an impression that fast track can only be done in the event of a war but this is not the case,” Parrikar said.
Noting that all earlier DPPs were procedure driven, Parrikar said the new document will come with a preamble, that will be a fall back option in case of any problem, like single vendor situation among others.

In a bid to cut down on the time taken for acquisition process, the new DPP mandates that all AONs (Acceptance of Necessity) of a particular platform will be valid only for only six months as against the 12 months deadline now.

Also, no AON will be notified until it is accompanied by a finalised RFP (Request for Proposal or tender). This means that the time taken for an RFP is cut down drastically.