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Chopper scam effect: Defence procurement policy to be changed

In the wake of chopper scam, the government announced it would change its defence procurement policy.

New Delhi: In the wake of chopper scam, the government on Monday announced it would change its defence procurement policy, which will be unveiled in a few months.

"Within a few months, we are going to change the defence procurement procedure again," Defence Minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

The defence procurement policy was revised as recently as 2011.

The minister was replying to questions on the allegations of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore in the Rs 3,600 crore deal to procure 12 VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland.

His statement assumes significance as the government has come under sharp attack over the chopper scam, with allegations that former Air Chief SP Tyagi was a beneficiary in the kickbacks.

Antony said the government has to import defence equipment because the Services require the most modern equipment to meet their operational necessity.

"Because of the operational necessity of the Services, on the request that they need the most modern equipment to meet the operational necessity, government moves to import any high value equipment from foreign sources," Antony said.

Dubbing indigenisation as the "ultimate solution to the scourge of corruption", Antony said the government would give "more priority to indigenisation so that Indian public sector and private sector can play a major role in producing state-of-the-art equipment for the Indian forces."

Referring to the CBI investigation in the VVIP chopper deal, Antony said it would be early to opine on the extent to which this case was likely to affect other defence deals in the pipeline.


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