More reports on: Indian Army

India may allow defence firms to hire lobbyists; Tatra ban eased

31 December 2014

The government has partially lifted the ban on Tatra trucks and is open to reviewing all cases of blacklisted defence firms on merit as it prepares a new policy that will allow foreign defence firms to legally hire agents, defence minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

The new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) will lay thrust on development of domestic defence industry and faster acquisition process. It will be issued within two months.

Changes in the Defence Procurement Policy to legalise representatives from foreign defence firms will be done in another month and a half, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said in an interaction with journalists late Tuesday night.

He also said the ministry was thinking of giving conditional and limited approval to dealing with banned firms, and the ban on Tatra has been lifted so far as to get spare parts for its trucks.

"Representatives from defence firms are already allowed in the Defence Procurement Policy ... the problem is it does not say what is not acceptable," Parrikar said.

"Changes will be made to the DPP, representatives will be allowed but commission, or percentage of profit for the deals will not be allowed. The representative's remuneration shall be declared by the company," he said.

Parrikar added that a draft of the changed policy is ready and a final draft will be ready in another 8-10 days. It will then go through further procedures before going to the Union cabinet.

"The process shall be completed in another one and a half months," said Parrikar, but noted that those agents who have been banned by the ministry will not be permitted under the new arrangement.

He also said that banned firms can be conditionally allowed. "Based on merit and necessity, one can think of lifting the ban to a reasonable level," he said.

Parrikar said the state-run Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) has been allowed to supplying spare parts for Tatra trucks, as long as it does not deal with the British subsidiary of the company, which was banned following irregularities in its deal with BEML.

"Limited NOC (no objection certificate) has been given to BEML because we need Tatra trucks," he said.

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