Monday 22 July 2024

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Economy | Defense

Fresh norms for blacklisting & policy for arms purchase: Parrikar


Resolving to end perennial delays in arms procurement, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said government will unveil a "clear-cut" policy next month on engaging "representatives" for arms purchase and announce fresh norms to blacklist erring firms.

Promising a raft of steps to speed up military procurement, Parrikar said blacklisting of defence suppliers to root out corruption was not the only solution and indicated going for heavy penalties against erring firms.

"We should be in a position to have a very clear cut policy by January on representatives and on blacklisting. What does blacklisting mean. How far we can take it forward," Parrikar said.

India's military procurements have been dogged by long delays and allegations of graft and many defence experts had suggested legalising "agents" for speedy purchase of military hardware.

On having "representatives", he said they should have a very clear agreement with the defence ministry on their fees and there should be provisions of heavy penalty on violators.

The former Goa chief minister said having "representative" with a very clear method of payment and fees was a better solution to the defence forces than delaying the procurement procedures.

"There should be a very clear agreement deposited with the defence ministry in advance. Very heavy penalty (should be imposed) if you violate that," he said addressing Aaj Tak Agenda.


On issues like imposing penalty, he was quick to add that it was his "loud thinking" and that final decision will be taken later.

Underlining the need for speeding up defence procurement, the minister said the government was working on ensuring transparency and said delay in decision-making allows entry of more agents.

"The agents are happier if there are more delays in decision-making)," he said.

Observing that blacklisting was not the only solution, the defence minister said Italian defence multinational Finmeccanica, which was blacklisted, has so many subsidiaries and wondered was it viable not to buy arms from any one of them.

Expressing concern over death of army personnel in various accidents, Parrikar said he will not allow any carelessness.

"Give me sometime I will establish accountability. I cannot lose soldiers while loading the gun. Definitely no."

Asked whether the last 10 years were a lost decade in terms of modernisation of armed forces, he said, "It was a lost decade for defence forces but it was gain decade for many others."

On his predecessor AK Antony, Parrikar, who is an IIT graduate, said, "There is no solution only by remaining honest.

"I agree that Antony may have a clean image that does mean the reflection of cleanliness in the actual procurement.

"To remove dirt, you have to step into it," Parrikar said, adding he reads all the files and his engineering background at times helps him in understanding technical issues.


"I do not know how many ministers read files. I read files and raise many queries. I have been habitual reader. I can isolate the good part of it. I think once you have clean intentions or proper reasoning for all judgments, there can be no question of quality of the judgement," he said.

On implementation of the 'One Rank, One Pension' policy, Parrikar said an announcement will be made within next four-eight weeks.

"I will not drag the issue for long. I will sort it out at the earliest. If I could take the satisfaction level (of the former armed personnel) to 80-90 percent, that should be a good enough solution," he said.

'One Rank, One Pension' has been a long-standing demand of the over two million ex-servicemen of India. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to the defence personnel retiring at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Very efficient defence minister,keep the good work going,Also please keep a track on DRDO, many times lot of stuff goes missing from this department,and after that no investigation takes place.

Ashley A Fernandes , Margao Goa