Ahead of the Budget, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday directed his officials to make concerted efforts to get cleared 86 acquisition proposals involving Rs 1.5 crore within the first quarter of the next financial year.
Parrikar also sought a review of proposed capital acquisition and budgetary requirements for the next decade, which he said would be an ongoing exercise. Parrikar reviewed the overall status of defence acquisition (supply order or contract signed) over the last two years involving Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
He also took stock of the long pending short range surface to air missile system (SRSAM) project for the Navy, for which the DRDO had initiated talks with French firm MBDA
last year. The review of the projects was done at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Parrikar in the South Block.
“The DAC focused primarily on review of overall status of defence acquisition over last two years,” sources in the Defence Ministry said.
They said a total of 81 capital acquisition schemes have matured since June 2014 and a letter of intent for construction of nine Mine Counter-Measure Vehicles have been
given to Goa Shipyard on a nomination basis.
“The cleared proposals thus amount to Rs 1.5 lakh crore. While 81 schemes have fully matured during this period, 66 procurement schemes worth nearly Rs 2 lakh crore have been
accorded Acceptance of Necessity,” the sources said. They added that Parrikar took note of the fact despite concerted efforts to expedite procurement, there still remained 314 cases which have not yet fructified.
Out of these, 86 schemes, approximately worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore are close to final stages of approval. “The Minister has directed that all concerned should make concerted efforts to get these cases cleared in the next 4-5 months, which means within the first quarter of the next
financial year,” sources said.
In addition, he advised the Services to review their pending acquisition proposals which have not fructified for a long time for their “contemporary relevance”. Parrikar also sought a review of proposed capital acquisition proposals for the next 10 years. The Minister said this would be an ongoing exercise to refine and further mature long term projections. The DAC also accorded approval of procurement for 619 high mobility vehicles under by option clause from TATA worth Rs 457 crore.