New Delhi. 21 March, 2016. In the monthly meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today gave final approval to the new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016, which will come into effect from April 1, 2016 and will get unveiled at the Defexpo in Goa next monday, 28th March. The government will also update the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Procurement Manuals in two months.
The DAC is the apex body chaired by the Defence Minister, the three Service Chiefs, all Secretaries in the Ministry of Defence, Scientific Advisor to the Minister and other senior officials as its members. It accords approval-in principal – the official jargon being Acceptance of Necessity, or AoN – to various acquisition proposals, which paves the way for the tendering action to start.
The DPP 2016 will have provisions to fast-track acquisition of critically-needed equipments, will give first priority to Indian Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) acquisition. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar informed that the new blacklisting policy will also be issued separately next month and ensured that there will be no relaxation for those who have already been blacklisted but that existing blacklisted firms will be allowed to appeal before a vigilance committee of the Defence Ministry for delisting under the new policy.
The new DPP will also have provision for allowing the DAC to fast track the procedure by bypassing the Acceptance of Necessity (AON) process, in urgent cases like requirements of the Special Forces. The armed forces need equipment, and the Government cannot take its own sweet time to get these acquisitions done and ensure that the end user gets it before it is too late. While the Ministry of Defence seems to be set on fast track, budgetary allocations could be impediments to this movement.
The DPP provides for setting up an empowered committee to solve disputes or unforeseen issues. which till now go to the DAC. Each of the three Services will have a Major General-rank officer for project management to be run on road map in line with the long-term perspective plan.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has become more active since the Modi government came to power. It has already taken some major decisions, much to the relief of the armed forces. It has been meeting on every month to ensure fast-tracking crucial decisions.