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Govt to carry out reforms in defence procurement: Prez

LCA Tejas during Initial Operational Clearance for induction into IAF

Government today promised that it will overhaul the defence procurement system to increase efficiency and encourage
LCA Tejas during Initial Operational Clearance for induction into IAF

New Delhi: Government today promised that it will overhaul the defence procurement system to increase efficiency and encourage domestic military industrial base against the backdrop of long delays in acquisitions and scams such as the VVIP chopper deal.

Addressing the first joint sitting of Parliament after the recent Lok Sabha elections, President Pranab Mukherjee said the government will introduce new policies including liberalised FDI in defence to strengthen and develop a strong indigenous defence industrial base.

The government also promised to implement the long- pending demand of ‘One Rank One Pension’ and also assured that it will set up a ‘Veteran’s Commission’ to look into the issues faced by ex-servicemen and build a National War Memorial for the martyred soldiers.

“Recognising the importance of coastal security, my government will set up a National Maritime Authority.

“My Government will carry out reforms in defence procurement to increase efficiency and economy. It will encourage domestic industry, including the private sector; to have a larger share in design and production of defence equipment,” Mukherjee said.

Defence procurement system has been hit hard by delays and scams in the recent years allegedly due to lack of transparency and complicated long procedures.

Several acquisition plans such as the 126 combat aircraft, the 197 light chopper and 145 artillery howitzer deals have been hit by long delays in the recent past during the UPA regime.

The President said the government “will introduce policies to strengthen technology transfer, including through liberalised FDI in defence production”.

Different ministries of the government have already initiated steps to increase the existing 26 per cent cap in FDI in defence and it is likely to be allowed up to 100 per cent on case to case basis.

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