SCRAP THE DPP
The Jan-Feb 2016 Issue of SALUTE has covered multiple facets of defence indigenisation and the DPP. In my view, the DPP should be scrapped. The DPP seems like a book with rules and counter rules. It is a book that can be used to ‘damn you if you do’ and ‘damn you if you don’t’ depending on which rule or counter rule suits. Some may refute this, but it would be hard to refute the failures at the micro and macro levels. Micro Level failures are broadly as under:
- The DPP was brought out to curb corruption, but it has failed to do so
- Procurements were to be carried out in conformity with the procedures laid out in the DPP. Yet the Augusta deals and perhaps others too, point out to a flagrant violation of such procedures.
- An analysis of procurements stalled midway also leads to the DPP in the end.
That is why, following the Augusta trials in Italy, charges are flying thick and fast in India, with both parties, the one levelling the charges and those refuting them, quoting the DPP.
The raison d’être of the Armed Forces is defence preparedness against visualised threats. security has been compromised due to excessive delays in procurement which have been largely caused by the DPP as it is not user driven but procedure driven. Thus, the evaluation of procurements on basis of product fitting the need for the defence of the country is subverted to first holographing multiple rules which give scant consideration to the importance of the need and to timely execution of procurement, focusing more on peripheral bureaucratic paperwork and at times totally unrelated rules. That is why procurements are oft halted mid way. Many deals have been halted by the same agencies that inked it! For the most part, the reason for halting such deals is corruption, but no one in the Ministry of Defence has ever been taken to task for the same. The DPP is strangely silent on this aspect. We boast today of the Scorpène class submarine, yet we have not questioned why the deal was halted over two decades earlier. And why no one has been held responsible for the delay. The DPP cannot be silent on such issues.
Long delays also lead to gaps in technology. By the time the product is procured, it most likely is substituted or enhanced with an additional feature. More importantly however, the DPP does not permit incorporation of such enhancement as then someone will probably be guilty of infringing a rule! The DPP makes one run around in circles, catching ones own tail and achieving very little. When time delays multiply, and defence needs become critical, we lose our bargaining chips in the procurement process. Add to this the arms lobby pushing chaos through propagating its own vested interests and we find ourselves in a tricky situation. The seller then knows that he can dictate terms. The state of the Air Force is a case in point. Its time to scrap the DPP. There are simpler, less cumbersome and more effective ways of procurements.
WE NEED ATTACK HELICOPTERS
This mail is in response to an article on Attack Helicopters by Gp Capt A.G. Bewoor in the Jan-Feb 2016 issue. In a gist,any officer who claims that Attack Helicopters are not required or if at all they should be centralized under the Air Force only is either pathetically illiterate, uninformed or is simply fighting his side of the turf war. No more need be said and absolutely nil weightage needs to be given to such”expert”opinion, which are prejudiced and myopic and do not have the greater good of the armed forces and the nation at heart.