The DPP 2016 has already been made public except for the chapter on strategic partnerships.
New Delhi: A key reformist measure — the Strategic Partnership model — to qualitatively and quantitatively enhance defence production by roping in Indian private companies, especially to collaborate with foreign companies, is likely to be approved in Friday’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting.
After being finalised by the defence ministry, the policy will have to be vetted by the finance ministry as the new policy would involve financial obligations before being okayed by the Union Cabinet. The chapter on ‘strategic partnerships’ was to form a part of the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 (DPP -2016) but was postponed as defence minister Manohar Parrikar sought suggestions from the corporate sector. The DPP 2016 has already been made public except for the chapter on strategic partnerships.
The government had accordingly set up five sub-groups — Aircraft and Helicopters, Armou-red fighting vehicles, submarines, ammunition, and macro process management of issues — and several meetings were held after the government signaled its strong intent to forge strategic partnerships with the private sector.
According to sources, with the defence minister publicly expressing his disapproval of the work culture in the defence public sector units (DPSUs), another aim of the new policy will be to fire up the competitive zeal in DPSUs.
Recently, Mr Parrikar had asked DPSUs to step out of the “cocoon of comfort”.
The DAC is the apex procurement panel of the defence ministry after which the recommendations have to be vetted by the Cabinet.
With defence hardware acquisition being a contentious issue in India, the government is also understood to be thinking of setting up a Defence Procurement Organisation (DPO) that will be manned by military experts. “While the DAC will continue to exist, the idea is that the DPO will look into all procurement issues,“ a senior ministry official told this newspaper.