Source: Defense News
Former DRDO chief VK Aatre to Submit Report on Strategic Partnership this Week
The recommendations, if accepted, will become part of the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) that has been in the works for long
NEW DELHI: Former DRDO chief VK Aatre will submit this week a crucial report to the Defence Ministry recommending guidelines for selecting domestic private firms for strategic partnership in critical segments like submarines, aircraft and missiles.
“The report is ready and it will be submitted to the Defence Ministry on January 15,” Aatre said.
The recommendations, if accepted, will become part of the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) that has been in the works for long.
The Ministry’s top decision-making body, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is scheduled to meet on January 12 and the main focus would be the new DPP. Sources said the contentious point of blacklisting is set to be discussed on that day.
Speaking to PTI, Aatre said his report focuses on the procedures to be followed while selecting a strategic partner and the kind of contracts that can be signed.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on September 3 that the Aatre Committee, which has experts from banking, chartered accountancy, among other sectors, has been asked to submit a report within three weeks.
A number of defence deals hinges on the new DPP and its delay will hit the modernisation process. The new DPP was originally expected to come around April in 2015.
One of the major deal hinging on the new policy is the P75-I project of the Indian Navy for building six new conventional submarines. The recommendation by the Dhirendra Singh Committee, set up to recommend changes to DPP 2013, had surprised many in the defence industry.
The draft DPP 2015 report had recommended that for wider ‘Make in India’, the government should adopt a strategic partnership model, whereby a private firm is chosen for the development of a specific identified platform.
Several Indian players are against this recommendation arguing that the government cannot select only one player for a specific sector.
The six critical segments identified are – aircraft and their major systems, warships of stated displacements, submarines and their major systems, armoured fighting vehicles and their major systems, complex weapons that rely on guidance system, C4ISTR (Command and Control System) and critical materials (special alloys and composites).
Even several original equipment manufacturers are against the concept arguing that they should have the liberty to choose an Indian partner.
“Also, restricting one group to one platform is unprecedented. Globally, every large defence firm has a land, air and naval segment,” a source said.
There is also a fear that strategic partnerships will work against the the small and medium-scale industry in the defence sector.
However, Parrikar has asserted that everybody will get a level playing field.