New procedure to remove problems in defence procurements: Parrikar

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) A new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has been almost finalised and aims to remove procedural difficulties in procurements, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the minister, the highest decision- making body in the defence ministry, will review it by the end of January 2016, Parrikar said.

A “mindset of mistrust” has shadowed the defence ministry in the last 10 years and procedures have taken over the end goals of procurement, he said while speaking after the launch of ‘Make in India’ portal of the department of defence production.

“Lots of changes have been made in the DPP… it is almost finalised and is being processed through channels. By the end of January 2016, the DAC will review it,” Parrikar said.

The minister said the changes were made after suggestions by the Dhirendra Singh committee. Senior officials concerned will vets the prepared document for the next two weeks.

“The first aspect… is to make the (defence procurement) process easy. There are so many requirements to comply, and then the order does not come despite successful trials… One reason why this happens is the difficult mindset that considers the process more important than the goal,” the minister said.

“Over the last decade, procedure has taken over target… the target to provide equipment to the forces, preferably of local make,” he said.

Elaborating, the minister said procurement of simple articles like jeeps at times have taken six to seven years, and procurement rejected in the end because of procedural gaps.

He said due to the “mindset of mistrust” in the ministry for long, officials were scared of taking decisions.

“The moment you take a decision, there can be 10 letters saying there is some corruption,” he said adding that the government wished to change the situation.

“The mindset today is to change all this… this portal is only a beginning… we will ensure transparency, go by the procedure, but to achieve target. Goal will be most important.”

The portal is a platform for interaction between the defence ministry and the industry and will have latest information on policies and requirements.

There will also be an interactive section where questions can be submitted, and a reply will be sent within three days.

The minister said he hoped the website will prove helpful and does not become an “irritant”.

“I hope the website functions and does not become like call drop (issue),” Parrikar said referring to frequent call drops plaguing the telecom sector.

The minister said he hoped ‘Make in India’ component in defence sector rose to 50 percent by 2017 and up to 60-70 percent in the next five years.

Talking about achieving upto 70 percent indigenous content in defence procurement, the minister said: “I don’t think it is impossible. It is difficult; I think we can achieve it. Except some raw material and technology, the rest can be developed (in the country).”

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