Parrikar hints at legalising middlemen

Addressing an event in the Capital, Parrikar said that he was “thinking aloud” that “kickbacks” should stop.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 13, 2014 3:45:53 am

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said his ministry was working towards refining defence procurement procedures, which involved a way to regulate middlemen, who are currently illegal in defence procurements in the country.

Addressing an event in the Capital, Parrikar said that he was “thinking aloud” that “kickbacks” should stop. “Representatives” — the term he used to describe middlemen — is a challenge area that needs to be brought under policy guidelines, he said. “Kickbacks should not be (there). But representatives with clear method of payment (could be a) better solution for defence forces,” Parrikar said.

Calling for a need to reduce delays in decision making, Parrikar said the ministry is working on a policy wherein “clear agreement (would be) deposited with the MoD in advance” by the vendors. “And if you violate it, there will be heavy penalty. Prohibitive penalty can be a solution,” he said.

Indirectly criticising the UPA regime for indecision in the defence acquisition process, he said that “Antony was clean does not mean that procurement was clean”. The minister added, “A lost decade for defence (was a) gained decade for many others.”

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