BJP questions 'shift' in defence procurement policy
Posted on: 05:33 PM IST Mar 24, 2013
New Delhi: Defence Ministry's move to have 'life cycle cost' clause in tenders for military hardware, including in one for the 126 Multi-Role Medium Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), has come in for questioning from BJP which fears this could be misused for corruption.
BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has written to Defence Minister A K Antony, raising a number of questions over the "conceptual shift" in the defence procurement policy.
Sinha has expressed apprehensions about misuse of the new clause close on the heels of a major scam that unfolded in the Defence Ministry's VVIP helicopter deal with Anglo-Italian company AgustaWestland.
Sinha has questioned the logic behind having such a clause and wondered what would be the contractual obligations for the life of an equipment.
He has underlined that in the absence of an enforceable obligation, the 'life cycle cost' (LCC) could be rendered a "dead letter".
The former External Affairs Minister has suggested that the apprehensions about the clause being misused can be addressed by binding the vendors by "enforceable contract" to ensure its contractual obligations.
Referring to the MMRCA, he has said that two of the seven "elements" laid down in defence procurement policy in June 2007 were omitted in its case.