49 per cent FDI in defence sector on need basis: Antony

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New Delhi, Sept 20 : Defence Minister A. K. Antony said on Saturday that it would consider allowing 49 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the defence sector "on a case-to-case basis."

The Defence Minister was speaking at an ASSOCHAM seminar on defence procurement policy. He said, "We will stick to the policy of allowing 26 per cent FDI in Indian defence sector. We will consider allowing 49 per cent FDI only on a case-to-case basis, if the industry is able to convince us."

"We believe in open deals. There will be no more veil of secrecy in the request for proposals," said Antony, and added, "Details would be made available to all industry representatives by placing the tenders on the net, except in the most sensitive cases, which is a minuscule number."

He claimed that the government believed openness would ensure speedy procurement and that best equipment at affordable prices would be the norm for allotment of contracts.

Antony further added, "Earlier, only few selected companies got the RFP. But with the implementation of the new Defence Procurement Procedure-2008 (DPP-08), we will ensure every industry gets the tender details. That way we ensure transparency and also widen the vendor base."

Antony said that DPP-08 contained certain significant changes from the earlier DPP promulgated in 2006, and the present volume aimed at strengthening the procurement framework and making it more transparent and impartial.

One of the significant change, the Minister said, was the inclusion of broad details of the trial methodology forming part of the RFP so that vendors were aware at the outset itself the modalities by which their products would be evaluated.

Antony further said that the government had included offset credit banking, which will enable foreign participants to create offset programmes in anticipation of future obligations.

ANI

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