More reports on: Defence general

Privatisation of ammo manufacturing on cards

27 February 2016

The defence ministry is working on proposals to further open up and streamline the defence procurement process.

These include allowing the private sector to manufacture ammunition and longer tenures for Army officers in the acquisition wing to ensure continuity, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday.

As the requirement for various types of ammunition by the Army keeps changing, the private sector will be given orders for 10 years to ensure financial viability, Parrikar said while speaking at the inaugural session of the Defence Innovators and Industry Association in Delhi.

As of now, only the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is permitted to manufacture ammunition.

Also the short duration of Army officers in the acquisition wing delays procedures as personnel are frequently replaced.

Parrikar said the defence ministry was planning to create a separate set-up for acquisition and OFB, both for capital and revenue streams.

Observing that the Army has a particular rule regarding such short postings, he said it also had to take into consideration the need of the organisation and relaxation had to be given for those involved in this kind of specialised set-up.

''The set-up will be in place in the current calendar year,'' Parrikar said.

Military officers are usually not keen on extended stints in the acquisition wing as it would deprive them of field responsibilities, a prerequisite for their promotion to higher ranks.

In addition to revising the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) which is to be released soon, Parrikar said there is need to tweak the Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) and the OFB procurement procedures to streamline the process and ensure transparency.

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