Antony for level playing field in defence deals



New Delhi: Promising a level playing field for all firms in defence deals, Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday asked them to refrain from corrupt practices and ruled out any question of political interference in military acquisitions.

"I want to tell vendors that in defence acquisition, there is no question of political decisions," Antony said, stressing that decisions related to defence acquisitions would never be based on political considerations.

Addressing an international seminar on defence acquisition, he said quality and price would be the only criterion for buying equipment from such firms.

"Don't try to corrupt our people... Quality and price are the only criteria in terms of acquisition. All the vendors will get level playing field," he said.

The Defence Minister also asked the sellers of defence equipment to inform the Ministry about the "corrupt and greedy persons" they come across during such deals.

"In an effort to modernise our defence forces, we are not willing to waste even one rupee of our taxpayers money to corruption," Antony said.

On participation of the private sector in the acquisition process, he said, "There is a lot of space for private and public sectors to coexist. In the years to come, both public and private sectors would have to work together to meet the country's demand."

Commenting on the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), the Minister said, "We want to strengthen defence industrial base. The offset policy has far more potential than that has been tapped. Offsets need a greater thrust to enhance research and development, logistic capabilities and defence infrastructure."

PTI