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Ajit Kumar Dubey
Ajit Kumar Dubey


Parrikar to issue defence blacklisting policy

PTI7_4_2016_000068B Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar | PTI

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has approved the blacklisting policy for defence companies and it is likely to be issued in next few weeks.

"I have approved the blacklisting policy and it will be issued in next few days after corrections of spellings and grammar," the Defence Minister told THE WEEK.

As per the new policy, there would be blacklisting of firms indulging in corrupt practices, but "there would not be any madness in that process," Parrikar said.

The blacklisting policy, which is a part of the defence procurement procedure issued in April, is expected to bring relief for the sector which had witnessed blanket blacklistings during the previous UPA government.

"Why should we indulge in blanket blacklisting as it harms our interests? We will punish people for corruption, but we will not hesitate to buy a product from another company even if a blacklisted firm is its partner," Parrikar said.

Asked whether the government would ban the entire Finmeccanica Group, the parent firm of scam-tainted AgustaWestland, the minister said, "The firm has now changed its name to Leonardo. Now, how do we go out and find out which firm is part of Leonardo and where all Leonardo has its stakes? We will not go for blanket blacklisting."

However, Parrikar had recently scrapped a deal with WASS, a Finmeccanica firm, for supplying torpedoes weapons to INS Arihant class nuclear submarines.

"There was no way that this deal could have been progressed as there were allegations of wrongdoings in it. That was why it was scrapped," a source close to Parrikar said while maintaining that the process for scrapping the tender for same torpedoes for Scorpene class submarines was also under process.

During the tenure of A.K. Antony, the Defence Ministry had issued a blanket ban on Singapore Technologies and Rheinmetall Group of Germany for their alleged roles in the Ordnance Factory Board scam in which bribes were paid to secure contracts from the ordnance factories.

Several critical projects such as the replacement of air defence guns, ultra light howitzers and artillery ammunition got delayed by decades due to this blacklisting.

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Topics : #defence

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