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Thursday, January 1, 2015
RAKSHA MANTRI'S PROMISES (ON WELFARE MEASURES) - MOD TO EASE NORMS FOR ARMS AGENTS, REVIEW BLACKLISTING
DEAR ALL VETERAN BROTHERS,
GLANCE AT THE WELFARE MEASURES BELOW
GREAT NEWS FOR ESM COMMUNITY. 2015 TURNING OUT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE YEAR
ENJOY BLOGGING AND THANKS
BLOG ADMIN =======================================
NEW DELHI : Jan 1, 2015, 06.13 AM IST
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
From easing norms for arms agents and reviewing blacklisting of armament companies to systemic reforms in defence production, from implemen-tation of ONE RANK ONE PENSION demand to strengthening border infrastructure, Manohar Parrikar promises them all in the New Year. In his first structured press conference after taking over as a "reluctant" Raksha Mantri in early-November, the 59-year-old former Goa CM and IITian promised speed in decision-making and getting rid of the "atmosphere of suspicion" engulfing the country's defence establishment for years.
There was the usual Pakistan will "face retaliation with double the force" if it persists in ceasefire violations, and China having no business to object to border infrastructure build-up if it's taking place on Indian soil. But the emphasis was on PM Narendra Modi's "Make in India" policy, with tightening of screws on DRDO, defence PSUs, shipyards and ordnance factories in the offing to ensure they deliver on time in a cost-effective manner, along with a determined push to encourage the private sector to enter defence production in a major way.
"Defence will be a major player in the 'Make in India' exercise. Defence is one sector where we look for acquisitions lock, stock and barrel from abroad," said Parrikar. Concomitantly, the defence procurement policy (DPP) will be streamlined by February to ensure swifter and cleaner arms acquisitions. After implementing nuanced blacklisting norms, MoD is now liberalizing the hiring of agents or "authorized Indian representatives" by foreign arms companies, as was first reported by TOI.
The hiring of agents - not to be confused with illegal middlemen - is permitted by the DPP since 2001 but just a handful have come forward to get themselves registered till now due to stringent norms and convoluted procedures. "It's not defined clearly in the DPP. There is ambiguity. Representatives will be allowed but commissions or percentage of profits from deals will be debarred. The representative's remuneration or fee shall be disclosed and declared by the company," said Parrikar.
Similarly, MoD has eased blacklisting norms from the earlier indiscriminate blanket bans that adversely impacted military modernization. After Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, the ban on the heavy-duty Tatra trucks (used to carry missiles, radars) has been partially lifted now. "Based on merit and necessity in different cases, we can consider lifting the ban or restriction to a reasonable level after proper verification," said Parrikar. "In the Tatra case, we have lifted the ban on purchase of spares by defence PSU BEML as long as it does not deal with the banned UK subsidiary of the company. A restricted no-objection certificate has been issued to BEML to deal with the original (Czech-owned) Tatra company," he added.
The all-terrain Tatra vehicles were banned in March 2012 after the then Army chief General (retd) V K Singh alleged he was offered a Rs 16-crore bribe to clear another order of 600 "sub-standard trucks". The armed forces, incidentally, have inducted over 7,000 Tatra trucks through a BEML tie-up first with Czech firm Omnipol and then Tatra Sipox of UK over the last 28 years. The CBI is probing the acquisition of Tatra trucks, with BEML being accused of selling the vehicles to Army at rates double their market value as well as deliberately going slow on indigenizing the specialized equipment and spare-parts despite technology transfers being included in the various contracts that were inked. (Source- TOI) ========================================================