New Delhi: Cautioning military suppliers
and vendors against indulging in graft, Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday said all military acquisitions will be based on
merit and any corruption will be dealt with seriously.
Antony said the defence offset policy has far more
potential than that has been tapped and it needs greater
thrust to enhance research and development, logistic
capabilities and defence infrastructure.
Warning that "extreme steps" can be taken even if
corruption is detected in the last stages of completion of a
deal, the Minister addressing a seminar on defence acquisition
said, "Do not try to corrupt our people. I do not want to be a
party to any corrupt practice and will not allow even a rupee
of Indian taxpayer`s money to be spent on graft."
Maintaining that defence acquisition process would not
be based on political decision, he said, "Up to the trial
stage, technical soundness of a product will determine whether
it will remain in race. After that it is the price which will
determine its selection for procurement."
The defence industrialisation process must be
accelerated to ensure modernisation and upgrade of security
infrastructure in the country, he said.
"However, in our enthusiasm to modernise and upgrade
our security infrastructure, we must not allow our defence
acquisition procedures to be manipulated or corrupted," he
Our primary objective must be to stay competitive and
yet remain cost efficient, as well as technologically and
strategically reliable, said Antony.