New defence procurement procedure to come into effect next month

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) is set to come into effect from April 2, and it will provide for fast-tracking procurements which are of an urgent nature, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.

The minister was talking to reporters after a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) to review the new DPP.

Earlier, there was an impression that fast track has to be used only during war. Now there is a provision to fast-track at the time of giving AoN (Acceptance of Necessity (AoN),” Parrikar told reporters.

The minister said “well proven equipment can be purchased of its proven product” from a single vendor through the fast-track process.

Parrikar said the new DPP will be uploaded on the ministry website on March 28.

On strategic partners, the minister said the chapter will require approvals from Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The minister said the process is likely to take another two months.

Parrikar cited the example of project 75, under which conventional submarines, follow-on of the Kalvari class submarines, and helicopters for selection of strategic partners.

The DPP also does not include the policy on blacklisting, which will be issues separately.

Under the new policy, firms breaking the rules will be penalised, suspended, or blacklisted depending on the nature of offence.

Asked about the firms already blacklisted, Parrikar said: “There will be no relaxation except they can approach the created mechanism”.

The minister said there will be a committee which can be approached, but the companies will have to prove they were not guilty.

“Blacklisting was earlier a unilateral exercise, now whoever have been punished can approach the committee. They can show they they have been acquitted by court, or prove they were wrongly blacklisted,” he said.

The minister also emphasised that merely changing the DPP was not enough, but that the mindset in the ministry needs to change.

“DPP is only a small portion of what needs to be done. When the mindset of those dealing with procurement changes we can see the final outcome,” he said.

To cut down time taken in acquisition. the minister said the new DPP mandates that all AoNs of a particular platform will be valid only for only six months, compared to the 12-month deadline presently applicable.

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