Nirmala Sitharaman Current Affairs

DAC approves Rs. 9,435-crore procurement proposals for three services

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved various procurement proposals for three services estimated at about Rs. 9,435 crore.

The proposals includes purchase of 41,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and over 3.5 lakh close quarter battle (CQB) carbines, High-capacity radio relay (HCRR) and two Pollution control vessels (PCV). DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement.

Key Facts

LMGs and CQB carbines: The carbines will be procured at cost of Rs. 4,607 crore and LMGs Rs. 3,000 crore. The approval is first step in long-drawn defence procurement procedure, and conclusion of final deals will take several years. Of the purchases, 75% will be through Indian industry under Buy and Make (Indian) category and balance through Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). It will enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for troops deployed on border. It will also address shortage of small arms for armed forces

High-capacity radio relay (HCRR): It will be procured at essential quantities for Indian Army and Air Force at about Rs. 1,092 crore. The HCRRs will provide fail-safe and reliable communication along with increased bandwidth in tactical battle area.

Pollution control vessels (PCV): Indian Coast Guard will get two pollution control vessels (PCV) at an approximate cost of Rs.673 crore. These PCVs will carry out pollution control and will be capable of undertaking patrolling, search and rescue and limited salvage and fire-fighting operations at sea. They will be built by Indian shipyards at an approximate cost of Rs. 673 crore. It will enhance Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) ability to rapidly undertake pollution control measures off east coast and island territories.


DAC clears procurements of assault rifles and carbines

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has cleared procurement proposal of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on fast track basis for Rs 3,547 crore.

DAC also simplified ‘Make II’ procedure which prescribes guidelines to be followed to develop and manufacture defence equipment through Indian Industry.

Procurement of assault rifles

The procurement of assault rifles aims enable the Defence Forces to meet their immediate requirement for troops deployed on borders. They will be processed under government-to-government route to conclude deals at the earliest. Army had decided to go for two different rifles — import a high-tech rifle in small numbers for infantry soldiers on front lines and procure the indigenous rifle in large numbers to meet balance requirement.

Make II procedure

The simplification of Make II procedure aims encourage participation of private sector in defence design and production and  give boost to ‘Make in India’ programme in Defence Sector. Make II procedure prescribes guidelines to develop and manufacture defence equipment through Indian industry.

The revised procedure will make the procedure industry friendly, with minimal government control. It will now allow Defence Ministry to accept suo motu proposals from industry and also allow start-ups to develop equipment for armed forces.

The minimum qualification criteria to participate in ‘Make II’ projects also was relaxed by removing conditions related to credit rating and reducing financial net worth criteria. Now all vendors meeting criteria will be allowed to participate in prototype development process instead of only two vendors earlier. In addition there will be no need to submit detailed project report.

After accord of approval by DAC, all clearances will be accorded by Service Head-Quarters (SHQ) which will also set up project facilitation teams to hand-hold the industry.