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New defence acquisition procedure favours swift decision making: Naik

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The new Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) favours swift decision making and delegates power to the appropriate authorities to ensure effective implementation of the acquisition process by all stakeholders concerned, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Yesso Naik said on Wednesday.

India removed offset requirements for government-to-government defence deals and single-vendor contracts under the new DAP unveiled on September 28 for the procurement of arms and military platforms for the armed forces.

"DAP 2020 is aligned with the vision of the government of Atmanirbhar Bharat and empowering the Indian domestic industry through Make in India initiative with the ultimate aim of turning India into a global manufacturing hub," Naik said at a webinar organised by industry body Assocham.

The DAP released by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last month provides for allowing the three forces to take on lease military equipment, hardware and platforms like helicopters, simulators and transport planes as per operational requirements as it could be a cheaper option than their procurement.

Naik said: "While the defence acquisition involves long time periods, the needs of the armed forces are non-negotiable. Flexibility in the procedure (DAP) has been provisioned to ensure the timely availability of the imported equipment."

"Thus, the DAP favours swift decision making, provides for a suitable time line and delegates power to the appropriate authorities to ensure effective implementation of the acquisition process by all stakeholders concerned," he added.

In what is seen as a significant move, the DAP 2020 featured measures to reduce delay in the procurement of essential items by the three services as it proposed a new enabling provision to acquire them through capital budget under a simplified procedure in a time-bound manner.

A need has also been felt for identifying strategic partners for defence production in the private sector, Naik said.

"The visionary policy FDI decision to enhance the FDI through automatic route from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in defence will enable manufacturing in India and make it a lucrative option for foreign equipment manufacturers," he noted.

The first defence procurement procedure was promulgated in 2002 and since then, it has been revised periodically to provide impetus to the growing domestic industry.

The new DAP came into effect from October 1 this year.

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