There is no ban on companies blacklisted by the Ministry of Defense to participate at the upcoming DefExpo exhibition starting next week at South Goa, India.
Unlike last time, there is no bar on blacklisted companies from taking part in the Defence Expo. “This is a commercial exhibition. You can come and participate. Debarment is from the point of view of purchase by the Ministry of Defence. They can showcase their products to other countries and enter into collaboration,” Secretary (Defence Production) Ministry of Defence, A K Gupta said Thursday.
He was replying to a question as to whether the blacklisted companies would be allowed to be part of the 4 day exposition.
The MoD had decided to keep 27 Indian and foreign firms away from the exhibition in Feb 2014.
The Indian MoD will be releasing the new Defense Procurement Procedure 2016 during the exhibition although the blacklisting guidelines and strategic partnership related chapters will not be part of the Monday release.
The move to allow blacklisted companies is most likely based on the decisions relating to blacklisting policies the government is working on. India is likely to propose alternative mechanisms to curb corruption instead of blacklisting defense manufacturers.
It is considering ‘negotiated resolution’ with the accused company similar to ‘deferred prosecution agreements’ (DPA) followed by UK and US.
The investigating authorities can negotiate with companies accused of wrongdoing to pay penalties and reparations. Criminal prosecution of the company in a particular case is suspended but criminal prosecution of individuals involved in corruption will continue.
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.