NEW DELHI: Changes in the Defence Procurement Policy to legalise representatives from foreign defence firms will be done in another month and a half, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.
He also said that the ministry is thinking of giving conditioned and limited approval to dealing with banned firms, and a ban has been lifted to get spare parts for Tatra trucks.
"Representatives from defence firms are already allowed in the Defence Procurement Policy... the problem is it does not say what is not acceptable," Parrikar said Tuesday night during an interaction with journalists.
"Changes will be made to the DPP, representatives will be allowed but commission, or percentage of profit for the deals will not be allowed. The representative's remuneration shall be declared by the company," he said.
Parrikar added that a draft of the changed policy is ready and a final draft will be ready in another 8-10 days. It will then go through further procedures before going to the union cabinet.
"The process shall be completed in another one and a half months," said Parrikar, but noted that those agents who have been banned by the ministry will not be permitted under the new arrangement.
He also said that banned firms can be conditionally allowed.
"Based on merit and necessity, one can think of lifting the ban to a reasonable level," he said.
Parrikar said the state-run Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) has been allowed to supplying spare parts for Tatra trucks, as long as it does not deal with the British subsidiary of the company, which was banned following irregularities in its deal with BEML.
"Limited NoC (no objection certificate) has been given to BEML because we need Tatra trucks," he said.
Army Wasn't Late in Reacting to Bodo Attack
Parrikar denied that the army was late in reacting to the attack by Bodo militants in Assam, and said they had to wait for a request from the local administration.
"We were alert about the attack even before the news was flashed in the media. The armed forces stationed there were ready, but we had to wait for request from local administration," Parrikar said.
"As soon as the local administration requested, we deployed the forces," he said.
The minister said 73 columns of the army were now deployed in Assam, where Bodo militants massacred dozens of tribals two days before Christmas.
BRO to be brought fully under defence ministry
Border Road Organisation (BRO) will be brought fully under the defence ministry and non-sensitive roads in border areas will be handed over to the National Highways Authority of India, said Parrikar.
The BRO is presently under both road transport and defence ministries. While the former allocates funds, the latter has executive control.
Parrikar said dual control has led to a sad state of affairs in the organisation.
"The BRO will be brought fully under the defence ministry. There was lot of confusion because it was under two masters," he said.
"By the next budget it will be under defence ministry completely," he said.
The minister added that nearly 3,000 km of roads will be transferred to NHAI in the areas which are not sensitive.
On the question of a rail link along India-China border, he said he will soon hold meetings with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
On China's objections to infrastructure development in the border areas, Parrikar dismissed them. "What we do on our side of the border is not their business," he said.