It is a tragedy to see another procurement scam surfacing, with the backdrop of the tragedy on board an Indian Navy submarine (“All deals with Rolls-Royce put on hold,” March 4). For how long do young soldiers, sailors, pilots and officers have to pay with their lives on account of kickbacks and shoddy equipment? Defence deals are facilitated by middlemen, a hard fact that cannot be wished away. Instead of the idealistic blanket ban on their involvement, the government has to be pragmatic and regulate them. Stalling the procurement process is no solution as it only serves to jeopardise our defence preparedness by decades and escalate costs.

It is time the government paid attention to indigenisation and developed local hardware manufacturing capabilities. That will go a long way in reducing our almost total dependence on foreign arms traders, and the associated scams and kickbacks.

Jyoti Ranjan Parida,

Cuttack

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