If we have no qualms about importing from other countries why cannot we buy ammunition from our own private sector companies? While restrictions could apply to production of small arms and ammunition, for large calibre arms and ammunition there is a case for permitting the private sector companies to chip in.
The recommendations of a committee set up in 2009 to review the delegated powers were accepted by the Defence Minister in December 2010 but soon thereafter these were held in abeyance because of the perceived fear that there was a large scale misuse of the delegated powers and that implementation of committee’s recommendations would result in excessive delegation of powers.
It is difficult to understand why the MoD should bind itself by asking for request for information (RFI) that cannot be compared across all the proposals. What would constitute ‘capability’ and ‘requisite infrastructure’ to license produce the aircraft is a matter of subjective interpretation and therefore, it would become difficult for MoD to assess whether the information provided by a bidder establishes that he/she has the requisite capability/infrastructure.
On Feb 14, 2014, MoD issued an office memorandum about operationalization of a Offsets Facilitation Cell. This is the perhaps the first positive step in a long time and the MoD needs to be complimented for it. However, absence of an operating procedure, clarity about the exact nature of mandate and guidelines for those who will man the cell could turn out to be a bane for this wonderful initiative.
Projecting a demand which cannot be met is as pointless as allocating budget that is barely sufficient to sustain the armed forces and other departments of the MoD. The persistent neglect of this aspect of defence management is taking its toll not only on the stock of ammunition held by the armed forces, notably the Army, but also on serviceability levels of the equipment.
The Defence Procurement Procedure 2013, as also its earlier versions, does not define an Indian company. Some would argue that the answer is very simple: any entity registered in India under the Companies Act, 2013 or any other relevant statute and operating with a valid license, where such a license is required, qualifies as an Indian company, enterprise, institution or establishment.
India’s quest for modernization of the armed forces is propelled by the persistent threat to its territorial integrity and the aspiration of becoming a great power.
While there was perhaps no option for the MoD but to do what it has done, it would be naive to expect the seller to acquiesce in forfeiture of the bank guarantees, recovery of the sums allegedly paid in violation of the PCIP (assuming that it will be possible to recover this amount) and to simply take the three helicopters back without demur.
Shorn of its rhetoric, the only tangible outcome discernible from the joint statement is the agreement on staging two flag meetings at the LoC. In fact, there are some questions that need to be asked, for example, why did the situation worsen to the extent that the DGsMO had to meet to affirm their commitment to maintain the sanctity of, and the ceasefire on, the LOC?
MoD, according to news reports, has instructed the Army HQ that its permission will need to be taken before changing the structure or role of the units in future. This could easily be interpreted to mean that there are no existing instructions on such vital issues. But such an impression would be wrong.