IssueNet Edition| Date : 24 Nov , 2013
At the recent Combined Commanders Conference, the Prime Minister asked for urgent review of Task Force Reports for indigenous production – another monologue statement egged on perhaps because of approaching elections. Yes the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2013 is an improvement from the past as far as private industry participation in defence sector is concerned but ironically the improvement is only ‘slight’. Even the observations by ASSOCHAM and CII on DPP 2013 are yet to be addressed by the government. The little improvement is despite Manibhai Naik, CMD of L&T pointing out the malady explicitly to the Prime Minister through a letter in 2011 saying, “Defence Production (MoD) Joint Secretaries and Secretaries of Defence Ministry are on the Boards of all PSUs — sickest of sick units you can think of who cannot take out one conventional submarine in 15 years now with the result that the gap is widening between us and China and bulk of the time we resort to imports out of no choice.
Secretaries and Secretaries of Defence Ministry are on the Boards of all PSUs — sickest of sick units you can think of who cannot take out one conventional submarine in 15 years now with the result that the gap is widening between us and China and bulk of the time we resort to imports out of no choice.
The defence industry which could have really flowered around very high technological development and taken India to the next and next level of technological achievement and excellence is not happening. “Manibhai also rued to the media stating he had raised one simple question in almost all the corridors of power and asked them what comes first: the honourable existence and sovereignty of our country or constantly feeding the sick public sector units at the great cost to the weakening India’s defence and borders and deaths of lots and lots of our soldiers wherever there is a conflict. He added, his failure lies in the fact that he couldn’t change the mindset of the MoD.
The fact is that the mafia in India’s defence-industrial complex and its nexus with the ministry is well known, monthly pay packets et all – presided over by a ‘clean’ Defence Minister, similar to the ‘clean’ Prime Minister who looks away as his government goes from one horrendous scam to the other. Media subterfuge is too well orchestrated, one example being that while a former Air Force Chief is attacked and tarred in the Westland Helicopter deal, no one dares question who was the DG (Acquisition) in MoD who actually signed the deal, though the latter by virtue of his appointment manages the ‘cuts’ and who they would go to. Any wonder why despite numerous defence scams over the years, no bureaucrat has ever been punished? Any wonder why no one is questioning what about the money ‘already paid’ in the Westland Helicopter deal and what about spare parts of the helicopters already bought?