The Army has been directed to respond appropriately with double the force to ceasefire violations on the border, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.
“Our response is clear. Don’t hesitate. React appropriately without holding yourself back. We won’t do violations but if we are attacked, react with double the force,” he told journalists late on Tuesday.
Mr. Parrikar was responding to a question on the ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Pallanwala sector of Jammu district on Tuesday in which an Army jawan was injured.
Stating that the Defence Acquisition Council has in the last few months cleared deals worth Rs 78,000 crore of which Rs 65,000 crore is under the ‘Make in India’ programme, Mr. Parrikar said “We are extensively reviewing the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).”
The Defence Ministry, he said, was also preparing guidelines on allowing consultants in defence deals. “Representatives or consultants from defence firms are already allowed. There is a clause in the DPP but the problem is it is not clearly defined,” Mr. 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 representatives have to be registered with the Ministry and remuneration shall be declared by the company,” he said.
“A draft of the changed policy is ready and a final draft will be ready in the next few days and the process completed in 45 days.” Companies blacklisted earlier could be allowed conditionally based on merit and necessity after consideration, the Minister said. In this context he mentioned the Tatra trucks case in which Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) had been allowed to procure spares from the parent company.
Mr. Parrikar said India was using outdated technologies in road building in the border areas and there was a need to get latest technologies. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was jointly under the Defence and Surface Transport ministries and it was hampering work, he said.
The Defence Ministry was working out modalities to free the BRO from the Surface Transport Ministry and bring it under its control.
Negotiations with Dassault of France for the purchase of 126 fighter aircraft were progressing and the French were sending an empowered person to sort out the differences on cost negotiations, Mr. Parrikar remarked.