There was no mention of decisions relating to blacklisting of companies and the report on strategic partnerships in the Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting press briefing Tuesday.
India has already firmed up the new Defense Procurement Procedure, but it is yet to take up policy changes relating to blacklisting of firms accused of corruption.
Several Indian media reports in the run-up to the DAC has mentioned a decision on the blacklisting policy as among the points of discussion in the meeting chaired by Defence minister Parrikar.
The DAC in January this year had cleared new clauses to the proposed Defense Procurement Policy (DPP). Guidelines on foreign partnerships and blacklisting were deferred by two months.
Reports had then said that India was considering ‘negotiated resolution’ with the accused company similar to ‘deferred prosecution agreements’ (DPA) followed by UK and US. This is one of the recommendations made by the expert committee constituted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to revise the DPP in July last year.
The DAC was also expected to take decision on the report on strategic partnership submitted by former DRDO chief VK Aatre.
There is also a fear that strategic partnerships will work against the the small and medium-scale industry in the defence sector.
The defense policy pursued by the previous government under former Defense Minister A K Anthony insisted on putting defense deals on hold if there were allegations of corruption and the firm concerned automatically blacklisted.
Currently, there are fifteen companies including six foreign firms that are blacklisted by MoD while 23 other companies are under scrutiny for allegations of corruption.
India is placed under high risk category as per the Transparency International’s Defense Procurement Corruption Index 2015 for Asia Pacific region report published in November last year.
There is evidence that the severity of the scheme is slowing down the procurement process and impeding defence modernization, the report stated.