New Delhi: With delays in clearance of mega defence deals like purchase of 200 light helicopters and 400 giant 155 mm upgraded towed artillery guns for army, recommendations have been made that Defence Ministry should complete all procurement formalities before September each year.
“Failure to complete major armament deals is leading to cut in acquisition budget when the estimates are revised”, observed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.
Pulling up the three services as well as the Defence Ministry, the Committee in its latest report tabled in Parliament said it strongly recommended that all procurement formalities should be completed by September so that all deals are put on fast track.
“This will facilitate the Ministry of Defence to allocate more funds for new schemes instead of earmarking larger capital acquisition funds for committed liabilites”, the report said.
Army has completed induction formalities like undertaking live test evaluation and qualitative requirements for 197 helicopters for which the American Textron and Eurocopter are bidding. However, the deal estimated to run into $700 million is still to be cleared by CCS.
Similarly, the deal to procure 400 upgraded towed 155MM guns of .52 calibre at an estimated cost of almost $3 billion is still gathering dust even after an unprecedented four evaluations trials.