gfiles magazine

March 18, 2013

Buy Indian

arms deals shubhabrata bhattacharya
Buy Indian
There is a need for a sustainable PPP model to take
the Indian defence industry out of the mud
For the past 25 years, the political discourse in India has been overshadowed by scams relating to defence procurement. It all started with Rajiv Gandhi, the man who got the largest-ever popular mandate in 1984, and who was ousted from power five years later due to the Bofors howitzer scam. Till date, the mystery of the Bofors payoffs has not been fathomed. But all of us remember that when India defeated Pakistan in Kargil, the pride of the armed forces was enhanced by the prowess of the equipment selected by Rajiv Gandhi. Similarly, the Mirage aircraft, purchased during the last days of the Indira Gandhi regime (when Rajiv Gandhi was part of the political decision-making machinery) too provided the necessary sinews during the Kargil war.
The merit of choices made therefore need not be called into question. However, as more pay-off scams have surfaced, it needs to be ascertained if the policy of not allowing agents, followed since the eighties, is prudent. Till the late seventies, agents were not only allowed but the existence of an Indian agent of a foreign supplier was also encouraged, as in those days of a foreign exchange crunch the agency commission of the Indian entity was deducted from the deal amount and paid by cheque in Rupees...Read More 

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