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Key panel to suggest changes in defence procurement policy to check delays

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved setting up of a high-level committee to review the existing policy framework on military procurement to ensure seamless flow in acquisition and maintenance of assets.

The Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 (DPP) is due for revision. Officials said the panel will recommend measures to remove procedural bottlenecks and hasten defence acquisition.

"The defence minister has approved setting up of a committee under the chairmanship of director general (acquisition) to review the DPP 2016 and Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2009. The committee will revise and align the procedures with the aim of ensuring seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support," the defence ministry said.

Apart director general (acquisition), the panel will have 11 members, not below the rank of joint secretary or equivalent of Major General in the Army.

The committee has been given six months to submit its recommendations.

The government has been maintaining that military modernisation is a major focus area. However, acquisition processes of a large number of military platforms and weapons are not moving forward due to procedural delays.

The terms of reference of the committee include simplifying policy and procedures to facilitate greater participation of Indian industry and develop robust defence industrial base in the country, and explore ways hasten defence acquisition.

It has also been tasked to examine, wherever applicable, and suggest ways to incorporate new concepts such as life cycle costing, life cycle support, performance based logistics, lease contracting, codification and standardisation for acquisition of military hardware, officials said.

A key mandate of the committee is to recommend measures to promote government's policy to promote domestic defence industry and encourage Indian start-ups as well as research and development.

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