The Defence ministry has approved a new ‘blacklisting’ policy for suppliers to tackle cases of corruption in defence deals without adversely affecting the procurement process. The new policy was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday.
The new policy, which was debated extensively over the last year, will be put up on the ministry’s website in the next few days.
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Ministry officials did not elaborate on the features of the new policy, but sources said it will do away with the system of ‘blanket blacklisting’ of foreign companies.
The focus of the new policy, according to sources, will be on graded blacklisting and fines. This means that if a defence supplier is found guilty of wrongdoing in procurement of a particular military platform, it will be banned for a specific number of years from dealing in that particular segment. The conglomerate or group, of which this company is a part, will be eligible to bid for projects in other segments. This will ensure that while defaulting companies are dealt with harshly, the modernisation is not affected.
The DAC, ministry sources said, did not take a decision on the Navy’s proposal to purchase 12 US-2I amphibious aircraft from Japan, though the issue came up for discussion. A decision on the Japanese aeroplanes was expected in light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to the country.