Project-only bans replace defence blacklisting according to ministy's new policy

Published: 08th November 2016 01:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2016 04:34 AM   |  A+A-

India-defence-budget-Reuters

Indian army officers stand on vehicles displaying missiles during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January 26, 2016. | Reuters

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence on Monday cleared a new blacklisting policy that will do away with blanket bans on companies indulging in corruption and approved projects worth over `82,000 crore for the purchase of fighter aircraft, tanks, rockets and mini drones.

Ministry officials remained tight-lipped about the features of the new policy, maintaining it will be put up on the official website in the next few days. As per the new policy, the focus is on graded blacklisting and fines. This means that if a defence conglomerate is caught doing something wrong in a particular project, it will be banned for a specific number of years from dealing in that particular segment only. It can continue to pitch for projects in other segments. “It will be a product-specific ban rather than blanket blacklisting. Also, there will be an option for heavy penalties besides those in contract and even individuals can be banned,” a source said.

The new policy would also allow many of the stuck programmes, like the heavyweight torpedos for the six Scorpene submarines, to move ahead with clarity.

Contrary to expectation, the Defence Acquisition Council meeting, which approved the new blacklisting policy, did not take a decision on the Navy’s proposal to purchase 12 US2I amphibious aircraft from Japan.

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