Consider pre-CVC vetting to avoid murky deals: Parliamentary panel

Involvement of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in defence deals can help avoid "murky" deals and blacklisting of firms, a Parliamentary Panel has said.

New Delhi: Involvement of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in defence deals can help avoid "murky" deals and blacklisting of firms, a Parliamentary Panel has said.

Taking note of the increased military expenditure of neighbouring countries, the Committee said, "India should also expand the size of allocation it made in Defence Budget so that Indian forces are fully equipped with modern weaponry."

The standing committee on defence instructed the Defence ministry to consider "pre-CVC vetting" of the firms to ensure highest degree of probity and public accountability.

"... Pre-CVC vetting of defence procurement could avoid murky transactions in defence deals to take place... In the absence of such policy, it would lead to blacklisting of companies, which will result in devoidance of critical technology to the country," the Committee said in its report.

The report, which was tabled in Parliament today, said, "pre-CVC vetting may be considered by the Defence Ministry."

It also noted that though the Ministry has taken sufficient measures for maintaining probity, accountability and transparency in its operations, "yet scams do surface without any break".

The Ministry, in its action-taken report, had told the Committee that, "While blacklisting of some companies sometimes result in non-availability of rarest technology, but at the same time it provides an opportunity for indigenous development of critical technologies and act as deterrent."

The standing committee also asked the Defence Ministry to "explicitly" spell out whether any concrete action plan has been put in place for the increase in allocation for the purpose in the future.

"Ministry has not shown any commitment to increase the capital ratio in comparison to revenue ratio for the forces," it noted.

The Committee expressed satisfaction to note that there
is no constraint of funds for construction of strategic roads by the Border Road Organisation and sufficient money is being allocated for its projects.

"The Committee expect that these projects initiated by the Ministry in consonance with Railways be completed in stipulated time frame so that movement of defence personnel and general public to the border areas become easy and hassle free," the report said.

The Committee pulled up the Defence Ministry for not fulfilling the existing deficiency of bullet-proof jackets and recommended that new Request for Proposal (RFP) be issued urgently for its procurement.

"New RFP should be immediately issued so that this life saving item should be procured urgently. While issuing the RFP, it should also be ensured that light weight BPJs of world class quality should only be procured," it said.

For giving a fair chance to NCC cadets in direct entry schemes, the Committee recommended that pre-SSB training should be given to ex-NCC cadets also.

It also recommended that the issues related to lateral entry of service personnel to Central Armed Police Force be resolved at the earliest to keep the profile of the Army young.

On Indian Navy the Committee expressed a strong desire that Ministry lay equal emphasis on technological advancement, newer acquisition and overall development of the force so that it gears up for any challenge in the future.