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Manohar Parrikar to axe former Defence Minister AK Antony's rule on arms deals

Abingdonboy

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NEW DELHI: Modi government Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is set to axe UPA defence minister AK Antony's most important rule — and as a result, India's defence purchase programme may at last get speeded up.

Antony had decreed that any defence purchase must be put on hold in the event of a complaint or allegation against the deal.

ET has learnt that the Modi government has decided to nix this rule. A procurement process will now continue regardless of any complaint, which which will be simultaneously examined. This has huge implications for India's defence programme since many major acquisitions get severely delayed as the ministry of defence (MoD) examines complaints.

Senior officials familiar with the matter, who spoke to ET on the condition that they not be identified, said the new rule will be enshrined in the new Defence Procurement Policy that's expected to be in place by May.

Officials said revoking the Antony era rule was crucial because in the fiercely competitive and high-stakes defence manufacturing industry, players and other interested parties would often ensure a complaint was filed against a rival.

"This would always send a high-value defence deal into a tailspin because the then minister Antony would insist on first investigating a complaint," an official said. MoD officials said the earlier rule was aimed at steering clear of any plausible corruption charge.

Several deals worth thousands of crores were cancelled or retendered repeatedly by the UPA government on corruption allegations, including deals for purchase of VVIP helicopters, light choppers for the army and missiles. Officials said this procurement paralysis had severely affected modernisation of armed forces.

The army needs light choppers to operate in Siachen and other high-altitude regions.


But the deal was put on hold in 2013 due to allegations against AgustaWestland. The process stopped even though AgustaWestland's chopper has ceased to be a viable option after it was disqualified on technical grounds. Similarly, the procurement of Israeli Barak missiles for warship defence systems was kept on hold for almost five years before being cleared in December 2013.

BLACKLISTING OPTION TO STAY
.
The biggest hit was in March 2014, when the ministry put all dealings with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce on hold pending an inquiry into allegations of corruption. Following sharp protests from the defence services, this ban was lifted after a few months.

Officials also said MoD will retain the option of blacklisting any company found indulging in corrupt practices. But even here, there's a new rule — the government can still place orders with a blacklisted firm in the interest of of national security, officials said.

This means if there is an equipment or spare part that can only be supplied by a particular company, transactions can continue even if the firm has been blacklisted.


Officials said there was considerable thought given on whether blacklisting should be replaced by a system of heavy penalties, as is the practice in many countries. However, the Indian Penal Code provisions — which treat bribery as a serious criminal offence — were seen as a legal hurdle that could not be crossed.

MoD will also put in place a system of registering agents, who may be given some identification documents that would allow them to hold meetings with government officers. however, noted that a previous effort to register arms agents did not work because defence companies had not come forward with names.


Manohar Parrikar to axe former Defence Minister AK Antony's rule on arms deals - The Economic Times
 

magudi

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NEW DELHI: Modi government Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is set to axe UPA defence minister AK Antony's most important rule — and as a result, India's defence purchase programme may at last get speeded up.

Antony had decreed that any defence purchase must be put on hold in the event of a complaint or allegation against the deal.

ET has learnt that the Modi government has decided to nix this rule. A procurement process will now continue regardless of any complaint, which which will be simultaneously examined. This has huge implications for India's defence programme since many major acquisitions get severely delayed as the ministry of defence (MoD) examines complaints.

Senior officials familiar with the matter, who spoke to ET on the condition that they not be identified, said the new rule will be enshrined in the new Defence Procurement Policy that's expected to be in place by May.

Officials said revoking the Antony era rule was crucial because in the fiercely competitive and high-stakes defence manufacturing industry, players and other interested parties would often ensure a complaint was filed against a rival.

"This would always send a high-value defence deal into a tailspin because the then minister Antony would insist on first investigating a complaint," an official said. MoD officials said the earlier rule was aimed at steering clear of any plausible corruption charge.

Several deals worth thousands of crores were cancelled or retendered repeatedly by the UPA government on corruption allegations, including deals for purchase of VVIP helicopters, light choppers for the army and missiles. Officials said this procurement paralysis had severely affected modernisation of armed forces.

The army needs light choppers to operate in Siachen and other high-altitude regions.


But the deal was put on hold in 2013 due to allegations against AgustaWestland. The process stopped even though AgustaWestland's chopper has ceased to be a viable option after it was disqualified on technical grounds. Similarly, the procurement of Israeli Barak missiles for warship defence systems was kept on hold for almost five years before being cleared in December 2013.

BLACKLISTING OPTION TO STAY
.
The biggest hit was in March 2014, when the ministry put all dealings with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce on hold pending an inquiry into allegations of corruption. Following sharp protests from the defence services, this ban was lifted after a few months.

Officials also said MoD will retain the option of blacklisting any company found indulging in corrupt practices. But even here, there's a new rule — the government can still place orders with a blacklisted firm in the interest of of national security, officials said.

This means if there is an equipment or spare part that can only be supplied by a particular company, transactions can continue even if the firm has been blacklisted.


Officials said there was considerable thought given on whether blacklisting should be replaced by a system of heavy penalties, as is the practice in many countries. However, the Indian Penal Code provisions — which treat bribery as a serious criminal offence — were seen as a legal hurdle that could not be crossed.

MoD will also put in place a system of registering agents, who may be given some identification documents that would allow them to hold meetings with government officers. however, noted that a previous effort to register arms agents did not work because defence companies had not come forward with names.


Manohar Parrikar to axe former Defence Minister AK Antony's rule on arms deals - The Economic Times
Antony should've been given some other ministry ,i do accept the fact that he's very honest , a rarity in congress

Antony attacks Congress's minority appeasement - The Times of India
 

Abingdonboy

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PARIKRAMA

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It makes sense is nt it? The fine tuning needed to be done and DM MP is leading the way to ensure the "engines" of modernization /procurement does not get clogged with every dirt that enters the system. Thus there is a urgent need of filtration and time bound profiling to understand seriousness and often rationales behind every speck of dust (complaints/allegations/feedback etc)

The most important point is nowhere in the world you have a system or working style with so much process procedures as well as reactive systems as in MOD that everything is looked with a suspicious eye. Its like every decision may spiral into a big scandal and end the political career. So it becomes a safety first , kursi next, nation last attitude. If we have rational and logical process and procedures with time bound mechanism for every kind of subsystems and feedback (criticisms/allegations) the chances are that the whole Defense sector may see a revolutionary change instead of decades of lagging projects of past and no decision making for present and future. We need accountability, urgent performance benchmarks and review.

Good we finally got an IITian in, at least whether he understands everything or not, he should try his level best and bring some change in the whole system. If he cannot do it then god knows who else could make a change decisively.

A special commendation must go to MP who so far had tried to dig deep, dirtying his hands to do some good and interesting work. I hope he continues the momentum and do well for our country.
 

Levina

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Abingdonboy said:
"This would always send a high-value defence deal into a tailspin because the then minister Antony would insist on first investigating a complaint,"
PRIKRAMA said:
So it becomes a safety first , kursi next, nation last attitude.
The issue was, AK.Antony Antony was an honest but soft and indecisive minister, exceedingly misguided by lower level functionaries of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. Antony desired to keep his image of a spotlessly clean politician intact.
Defence ministry is one of the key cabinet positions, and UPA did not want to take any risks. Antony's real mandate was to prevent these scandals from doing a Bofors on UPA. That is one strong reason why AK Antony could cling on to DM's chair for 7.5 years (the longest for any DM).
I've high hopes from Parrikar, I hope he meets the forces expectations.
 

Armstrong

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The issue was, AK.Antony Antony was an honest but soft and indecisive minister, exceedingly misguided by lower level functionaries of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. Antony desired to keep his image of a spotlessly clean politician intact.
Defence ministry is one of the key cabinet positions, and UPA did not want to take any risks. Antony's real mandate was to prevent these scandals from doing a Bofors on UPA. That is one strong reason why AK Antony could cling on to DM's chair for 7.5 years (the longest for any DM).
I've high hopes from Parrikar, I hope he meets the forces expectations.
Awaiiin...pataa shataa hai nahin bureaucracy key workings ka aur expert opinion diyaa ja rahaa haii ! :tsk:

Lagtaa haiii aaap nei kuch ziyadaa hiii British sitcom 'Yes Prime Minister/Minister' deekh liyaa haiii ! :tongue:
 

PARIKRAMA

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The issue was, AK.Antony Antony was an honest but soft and indecisive minister, exceedingly misguided by lower level functionaries of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. Antony desired to keep his image of a spotlessly clean politician intact.
Defence ministry is one of the key cabinet positions, and UPA did not want to take any risks. Antony's real mandate was to prevent these scandals from doing a Bofors on UPA. That is one strong reason why AK Antony could cling on to DM's chair for 7.5 years (the longest for any DM).
I've high hopes from Parrikar, I hope he meets the forces expectations.
The murmurs were always there that Anthony was and is a saint in when it came to honesty but he was also bullied by other senior congressmen who were always out like vultures waiting for prey. I dont dislike UPA chairperson choosing AK Antony as DM as its sure that he would have kept a clean MOD.

History will show he succeeded in that of keeping MOD clean

Unfortunately he also cleaned all deals, pending files and work.. in a way he cleaned the whole ministry of work. such was the travesty that everything in last decade and 7.5 years is now being either dumped or bought to the rightful conclusion.

India cannot afford another AK Anthony and that is some thing we all agree. Now the question is we saw some changes in NaMo's work and MP work too.. But what about other ministries? To me the other ministries have some good distance to catch up. Arun Jaitly finance is still a bit slow.. Sushma swaraj doing some good work but i hope her competition internally with Namo does not dissuade her from doing good breakthrough. Rajnath Singh needs to firm up and be decisive quickly, he needs to know Home is a very imp portfolio. Smriti needs to know education needs big systemic change not jsut changing history books or fighting IITs. Much more can be written about....

Thus, i say we need a national performance reviewer to give feedback and pull up every ministry for inefficiency.. its performance related after all.

We had parliament to do all this, to review debate every matter of nation. Unfortunately its now a place where everyone does timepass and we people think why we pay taxes which silly politicians waste by adjourning it every day. Tell me one day when i dont see one party sitting outside or rushing to well with sloganeering and trying to adjourn.. congress does now, BJP did in past, TMC tries every now and then. Result is the reviewer role is lost and the nation suffers
 

Cyberian

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Nah, considering Pakstan has successfully managed to trap nearly half of the Indian military in a quagmire in Muslim Kashmir for a quarter of century now.

The Arab world is turning to Pakistan for military assistance in Yemen today not the rising and the shinning Supa Powa India.
 

Ammyy

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Nah, considering Pakstan has successfully managed to trap nearly half of the Indian military in a quagmire in Muslim Kashmir for a quarter of century now.

The Arab world is turning to Pakistan for military assistance in Yemen today not the rising and the shinning Supa Powa India.
So basically you are proud if they want to die your people for their war? Just for money :lol:

Arab never did nor they will do same for Pakistan in any war...
 

ni8mare

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Nah, considering Pakstan has successfully managed to trap nearly half of the Indian military in a quagmire in Muslim Kashmir for a quarter of century now.

The Arab world is turning to Pakistan for military assistance in Yemen today not the rising and the shinning Supa Powa India.
fail logic just like failed SUPARCO.................:lol::lol::lol:
 

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