Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The cost of Antony's halo


Defence Minister AK Antony rides one of the T-72s that remain night-blind because of MoD procurement failures. Is the Congress Party beginning to realise that Antony needs to go?


by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 23rd Feb 2010

Sarojini Naidu famously observed that it cost India millions to keep Gandhi in poverty. It is harder to determine what this country pays to perpetuate Defence Minister AK Antony’s reputation for honesty, but the monetary penalty alone is thousands of crores per year.

Here’s how it adds up. Antony’s obsessive quest for unblemished weapons procurement has delayed the acquisition of artillery and anti-aircraft guns, fighters, submarines, night fighting gear and a host of equipment upgrades. With arms inflation at 15 per cent per annum, a five-year delay means that India pays twice what it should have. And when that equipment is obtained through government-to-government purchases and other single-vendor contracts, the cost is about 25 per cent more than it would have been in competitive bidding. Conservatively estimating that delays afflict just half of the defence ministry’s Rs 50,000 crore procurement budget, India buys Rs 25,000 crore worth of weaponry for 125 per cent more than what it should have paid.

Over and above that figure is the cost to national prestige and the devaluation of India’s military deterrent when — as in the wake of the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai — India’s armed forces are unprepared for immediate strikes. That happened on Antony’s watch.

To inconvenient questions about procurement delays, Antony declares that “India is a democracy” and “we have to ensure full transparency”. Point out to him that many democracies manage timely procurement in a transparent manner, and you will get a patronising, “Don’t worry, we are doing all that is necessary to safeguard the security of the country.”

After five years of insensibility to Antony’s disastrous custodianship of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Congress party seems to be realising that in India’s deteriorating security environment, Antony’s functioning might leave the party with having to account for a military embarrassment. Last week, Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari wrote an opinion piece in a national daily, arguing for all the changes that Antony has assiduously blocked during his five disastrous years in office.

Tewari called for “reforms that are visionary”; treating Indian private industry on a par with the public sector; and “drastically retooling” the Department of Defence Production. Though qualified as his personal views, the article represented growing opinion within the Congress party.

s it fair, Antony’s defenders will ask, to pin the blame entirely on him? After all, George Fernandes had publicly declared that fear of the three C’s — the CAG, the CVC and the CBI — held back MoD bureaucrats from making decisions. But Antony, like no other defence minister before him, endangers national security by his otherwise laudable fetish for probity. The message that flows out of Antony’s office and seeps through the procurement department is: cancel an ongoing procurement at the first hint of irregularity. It does not matter whether the suspicion has been planted by a rival arms dealer; a paid-for Parliamentary question; or a letter from an MP which has clearly been dictated by someone who possesses every detail of the tender in question. Just put the process on indefinite hold.

One MoD official asked me: Point out one official who has been punished for delaying the procurement of even the most vitally needed equipment. But if I am seen to move a file quickly, the defence minister’s office will ask, “What is the hurry. It seems almost as if you have a stake in that deal.”

Then there is Antony’s obvious bewilderment about the technical issues of the military, a crashing ignorance that cannot be condoned in India’s top military decision-maker. Antony’s apologists cite his preoccupation with party matters; but that is hardly convincing. His predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee, who had an immeasurably larger role in the party and national affairs, handled the MoD with skill and knowledge.

At a lunch, three years ago, I asked the Australian defence minister why his air force was buying F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters when Australia was already in line for the futuristic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was nearing completion. His answer: Australia’s ageing F-111 fighters would be retiring in 2010; since the F-35 project was running a couple of years late, 24 new Super Hornets would be inducted to retain Australian capability. (The Super Hornets are reaching Australia next month.)

Contrast that urgency with Antony’s “we-will-consider” approach, even though India faces a greater chance of military confrontation with Pakistan or China than Australia does with New Zealand or Papua and New Guinea.

Antony’s personal image and goals are damaging national security and the image of his party. If electoral seat adjustment and managing state-level dissidence is his particular skill, let him move out of that crucial corner office in South Block and give him a place in the Congress party office.

After Neville Chamberlain had miserably failed to rein in Hitler in 1939, British MP Leo Amery echoed the words of Oliver Cromwell in calling for Chamberlain’s head at a memorable session of the British Parliament: “You have sat here too long for any good you are doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Mr Antony?

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Diyar Ajai Shook Law! . Ah what do I see here. FINALLY someone with the courage to throw the gauntlet down at the broken system and to call the a spade as such.

Yeah. Someone to bell the cat at last! MoD reforms need serious activism to have even a smidgeon of success. That musty place needs to be cleaned of the cobwebs and accumulated grime of decades. Someone needs to open out the windowsn and let in some fresh air and sunlight. More power to you bro.

Shake 'em up baby

The only thing I diasagree on is that I dont think that "DPSUs" can be "reformed" /"changed" . They are fundamentally a bunch of parasites , who are the establishment. There is no record ever in nature of any parasite of anysort turning into a symbiotically beneficial thing.

No sir. There aint no reformin 'em parasites. Not Air India, Not DPSUs, none of 'em. What you do is kill 'em and then smoke 'em.

Oh, that will happen anyway over the long term the moment competition muscles it's way into defense. The key is cracking open a door. That is the reason why the entire parasitical system (MoD, babus, mantris, govt, trade unions, DPUs) etc will close ranks to keep the outsiders out by hook or by crook.

Anonymous said...

Ajay,

I hope this writeup gets printed in mainstream media & the electronic media so that the Congress can be embarrased to take some action in national interest. We need an intelligent person in this position where our security is challanged frequently by Pak & China. China knows very well that Indian MOD is full of BS and Pak knows exactly what gets ordered in India & what is delivered - thus Musharaf dared to wage Kargil. Please spread this article any where that you can. Thanks.

joydeep ghosh said...

ajai sir sambhalke

This is my viewpoint only. What ever you have written here can create problems for you.

The way in your previous articles you wrote about Isreali defense industries, other specific weapon system, MoD might consider you a agent for those co.

They might label you 'Persona Non Grata'.

Karupaswamy said...

Nice article, Corruption is a criminal offense and Non Performance is an equally bad crime against nation. Anthony should go, We cant afford to have a non performer in a key ministry like this - He will be a more apt person for a ministry like rural health or as a fertilizer Minister.

Also the useless first lady and commander in chief of the armed forces should also be shown the door. She is a worthless rot and not fit even to come near the chair which was once used by Dr. Kalam.

The only solution for our defense industry to take its rightful place is to bring in a more competent person preferably an ex army general or an intellectual as the Defense Minister so that privatization can be expedited.

Large Private Sector organizations like L&T should be allowed to compete with foreign defense firms. Govt stake in DRDO, HAL & ADA should be disinvested to bring in effeciency and accountability.

Beraucracy & Red Tape should not be tolerated in defending the nation, incompetent and inefficient govt babus should be kicked out and their retirement benifits and property should be confisicated for severe offenders to compensate the loss for the tax payers.

Anonymous said...

Hats off ajai.A long due article.Yet we all know that the highly corrupted congress top brass will throw articles like these into dust bins to keep themself clean of ethics.

But will let the taxpayers know,whats going on behind the doors in south block.

How a party selffishness can bring down the national security----Congress has to be a good example.

Anonymous said...

I am a regular reader of your posts. Good work.
But this post seems to be a U turn from your previous policy. It seems like you are tired of fighting corruption this fast and is willing to give up before achieving the goal. If our freedom fighters gave up their cause complaining about the inconvenience and initial loses, we would still be slaves to the British. There is something you should know, nothing just change overnight. We are lucky to get an uncorrupted defence minister after a long time. Cleaning of the corrupt armed force structure and practices are really tough. Also we should never ignore the recent steps taken to promote and boost Indian private sector and steps to boost Indian products. Now Indian firms are at least being able to procure some orders. So you must be kind enough to consider these facts before jumping into such a conclusion.

Anonymous said...

excellent stuff all the way
never thought the cost of honesty
wonder if Rahul Gandhi could be made defence minister :)

Anonymous said...

Good Article

Anonymous said...

Hello Ajay,
As I told you before also, Do you know what is background of Antony and Pallam Raju ? Its unfortunate that Indian Ministry of Deafs is headed by blind people. People in management are misusing the powers and are not allowing the private firms to come up. Please check all the defense deals in their period. You will find many scams

Anonymous said...

Ajay,
Antony's policy on defence to been transparent and corruption free. His tenure saw smooth implementation of 6th pay commission, removing the soldiers from becoming servants in the name of "orderly". India started the modernization process. Regarding the comment as the modernization process is not good enough, we need to think about the proverb "Learn to walk before you run".
Compare his performance with any of his predecessor, he will be in the top few. Take George Fernandez, the great revolutionary leader promised a lot as defence minister but had to take blame for scams like Coffin scam during kargil war, and caused the Generals to fight for the pay commission changes.
Regarding his stance on corruption, there should be zero tolerance to corruption as our brave soldiers life depends on it. A corrupt procurement deal will take a lifetime to heal.

Anonymous said...

the problem is not only the defence minister.the entire defence procurement is extremely complicated and in the end is more biased towards protecting the interest of vendors rather than interests of govt/defence.a simple example is paint or stationary.you cant specify company.but the end result is extremely substandard paint which is good for only painting sidewalks of roads.go to any army est and you will see most substandard paint with costs comparable to good company apints.this is just one example.the nexus between vendors and cda prevents purchase of any good quality material from reputed and auth vendors and that the reason why repeated purchases are made wasting tons of govt money.you will be surprised that to procure one vehicle for replacing vehicles at a place the govt is being paid 1300 usd a month is taking as long as one year.shocking,isnt it?

Anonymous said...

As you rightly pointed out, in big ticket defence procurement, you have to initiate requirement planning about 10 years or more before the requirement manifests itself as a shortage.
But MOD would probably have a 5 year horizon that will continue to grow shorter as the next elections draw near. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that high priority will be accorded to something that will blow up into a crisis under someone else's watch.
So we can well imagine the priority that will be accorded to something like military industrial capability development. That would be something that would bring in rewards perhaps thirty years later or more. Mantriji wont even be around to bask in glory then. So why bother?

Anonymous said...

lets not hurry to call Anthony useless. Matter of fact he is the only one who can be trusted. reality on the ground shows that in a pond where 99% of the fish are corrupt, he is among the 1 percent who aren't. Secondly, for years now the Russians, The Europeans etc. have engaged in bribing our babus and have forced their equipment on us. Russians are masters at this, at one pont there wasn't a Russian deal which wasn't full of 'gifts'. The problem in the end comes to the warfighter who ends up getting sub-standard useless equipment with a massive cost to the tax payer. over 1/2 of our A-A BVR missiles dont work and malfunctioned before the end of 1 year of their shelf life. over 1/3 of our bvr Anti radar missiles dont work, the Russians scrwed us on brahmos tot, t-90 tot, massive delay of our carrier, even our kilo subs didnt function properly. The t-90 i am sure is worse than the Arjun.

so in a democracy where you get serious pay for allowing for foreign companies to sell to India, there will always be babus who rely on backing imports for their own wallets. Anthony is one such person who is different, it may take time to take a decision but rest be assured that decision wont really adversly affect our security.

Our politicians are parasites and they are the reason for all our problems. Anthony isn't a politician.

Anonymous said...

145 guns through FMS, another good buy. FMS is the least corrupt route in the world. I'd rather we delay our purchases and buy good equipment that we didnt buy at the behest of the recommendation of a fat babu who just got paid for his betrayal. Its when we rush to buy, we end up going for shitty and useless weapons. so what if 80% of the tanks dont have night fighting ability. We are a defensive nation, not an offensive one. 20% of our tank force is enough to level all of Pakistan.

Manu said...

Fabulous article!!
Right on the spot!
History will remember your articles and that they made a difference. I hope you dont mind if I link to your article from my blog.
What needs to be scrutinised in-depth is the decision making processes of the MoD/Armed Forces.

Unknown Soldier said...

hi ajay,
your colleague from CIDSS days. Have you seen this article?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7036961.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=2015164

Anonymous said...

excellent/on the nail. It's so frustrating so see simple/done deals take so long.....i really wish someone would shake these guys out of their bureaucratic lethargy.........but, unlikely, hell, even Mumbai couldn't shake them up, God knows what will ??????? Need someone like PC......but he's so tied up in the Home Min...............

Vipul said...

A very interesting article for readers. Slow procurement of much needed arms is always comes with cong govt's. They put country at a risk on name of so called transparency. Current strength of IAF's fighter squadron & IN's Submarine fleet is a great example of it. Nice work.., keep it up Ajai.

Anonymous said...

"MoD might consider you a agent for those co."


I hope not.
At that point, it's better to lose a war because the country has no future.

Concern of companies growing bigger than Govts -
Anthony might have concerns about a growing private Military industrial complex that can interfere with the functioning of the government. That happens around the world. I think that's a legitimate concern.
There may be ways around the problem. Limiting the size of these institutions could help.

Unfair advantage to large companies-
Large companies [conglomerates] that get research grants from MOD have an unfair advantage. They can use the same technology to develop competing non-defense products and there by destroy domestic companies that don't get MOD money.

Maybe 'defense only' companies can get MoD grants. There must be a way for Mod to earn money when that knowledge is sold to domestic non-defense companies.

The Great Recession is not over!
We [the entire world] are still in the middle of the Great Recession. By the time we get out of the recession, private companies that MoD provided funds may not exist or may not be able to work with 'just' the grants.
As much i dislike PSUs, it is better they are left as is for the next 5 years.

Anonymous said...

I was the dude trying to find reasons for Anthony's actions.

Whatever the policy, there is no reason why PSU's should be left unaccountable for their (in)actions.

Anonymous said...

Good to see some of the "fourth estate" functioning as it should. Maybe there's yet hope for Indian democracy.
Outstanding and brave, Ajai. Stellar work! Keep those big guns blazing (pen mightier than the sword, etc), but keep an eye on your 6.
For those who keep advocating "go slow", "takes time", etc....when will it be a good time to change? When Pakistan or China are quite literally knocking on the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan? The need for arms purchases & development is NOW; not after you've been defeated on the battlefield.
A nitpick...."reign on Hitler"? Should be "rein on Hitler", no?

Anonymous said...

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Dear Ajay,

Atlast i have found a rare and courageous article from a rare journalist.
our policians always used our defence apparatus/procurements only for their party's fund raising during election mela.
unless otherwise defence issues earn them votes they will keep on doing this.

adding to the mess, now we got a worst administrator on the lines of mr.Shivraj Patil.
Mr.Antony is interested in advertising his mr.clean image to everyone, rather than working on india's defence preparedness.

our Prime Minister and Mrs.Sonia have done the right thing by replacing Mr.Patil with Mr.P.Chidambaram... hats off to them.
now Mr.Patil is happily writing hundreds of books on internal security and we too are happy on carefully skipping them!

my God... please accept my prayers...
let Mr.Antony find a suitable job for him...
please give my country an active defence minister

AK said...

It makes me laugh to think that Antony is Mr. clean. He is an Indian politician after all. He has no clue regarding matters of defence and none seems to be coming forth. If he has any shame left he should resign and let someone else take the reins of MoD. He is playing the role of Vibhishan in Lanka. A few more years and Pakistan will have breakfast in Kashmir and Lunch in Delhi.

Anonymous said...

Ajai,

Can you find out how much antony and co received for not blacklisting Us companies particularly lockheed martin for stealing of secret docs related to MOD?


You see.....no US company is blacklisted even though they bride and do all types of evil to secure deals,but european or other companies get blacklisted for no reason.
May be the bada sahabs in MOD like only dollars and not euros/Rs.

It will be highly appreciated if you can report these kind of cruel activites and non-nationalistic.

Broadsword said...

Anonymous: 08:53:

This was printed in the mainstream media. Do you not consider Business Standard mainstream?

Manu:

Feel free to link.

Anonymous 19:50:

You're absolutely correct! It should be "rein in Hitler". Nobody else has spotted this mistake. Thx.

Manish said...

It is not only Antony but the whole of INC which seeems to be bending over backwards to hand our territory to invaders for personel gain. By talking bombastic things and delivering little the INC thinks it can keep on fooling the nation.Shame on us indians to elect such MOD after being repeatdly colonized.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ajai,
Great article. Could you share the kind of feedback you have been getting on this article from decision makers / political masters.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

I just went through the article which blindly criticizing the Defence minister. Shame on you for trying to tarnish an uncorrupted man. Knowingly or unknowingly you are supporting the corrupt hands in the defence industry who try to suck our blood with the help of the corrupt generals who enjoy the privilege of filling their pockets without anyone questioning them. If questioned they will unleash the sword of national security to chop their pen with their hand. Let that honest man do his duty. Cleaning the corruption is always a tough thing but is worthy doing .Corrupt procured will mostly fail to work well during war because the quality is highly compromised by the corrupt hands for their benefits. So please think before crucifying an innocent man.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 14:29

When it comes right down to it...and your life depended on it, who would you rather have defending you personally? A corrupt but competent man? Or an honest but incompetent man? Case closed!

Anonymous said...

what makes you say congress is considering giving anthony the boot? i dont see anything in that direction.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous @ 24 February 2010 14:29
---
I just went through the article which blindly criticizing the Defence minister
-----

Corruption is a crime, Incompetence is an equally bad crime,No Mercy for Anthony, he should be kicked out

Anonymous said...

Have seen a post from Prasun K Sengupta. Has he been kidnapped by the Russians? Anyone...

Major Ravi said...

What is this halo one is talking about in the context of Antony? There is a famous chide by none other than the only Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel, to Jawaharlal Nehru; 'Jawahar, you'll regret it'. I repeat it to my countrymen (and women too) : we will regret it (if we continue to suffer this Raksha Mantri any longer). He has very assiduously sold the professional education sector in Kerala to the mercenaries after having promised the people that two self financing colleges will be equal to one government college and never bothering to honour it at impementation level. And we still see halos around him! What a pity!

Major Ravi said...

And before you attach halos to Antony, ask what he has done to prosecute the criminals behind Bofors.

Anonymous said...

Anon@24 February 2010 14:29
LoL! Look AK Antony is himself coming to blog to save his honour. Get off your sorry a** mate. AK is no less corrupt than any other minister in the current government. The only problem is that he is extremely inept also.

It boggles my mind to think how many soldiers have died because this inept moron can't let them have proper protective gear and weapons. 26/11 is still fresh in the minds of people. Antony has fail written all over him. He qualifies for treason perfectly.

Rafale said...

@anon 24/2/2010 14.29

Incompetence is as big a crime as corruption.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Shukla,
Very good article/thought provoking. I hope you follow it up with more, and don't let this go.

I don't know if it's possible..........but you could easily prove your point by looking at actual orders closed/contracts signed since Anothony became Def Min in Oct 2006.

Take each Service seperately and have a look and then you'll see what he's done or not done.

For example, take for the IAF: actual deals closed - Fighter Aircraft: i think is NIL (the last order placed was for the additional 40 Su30Mki's before he took over ???) Only deal is the Upgrade of 63 Mig29's. Transport Aircraft: yes - 6 C-130J's and upgrade of 105 An32's. Helicopters: yes, 80 Mi-17V's and now the 12 AW101 Merlins for VIP's; Special A/c: 3 Embraer 145 AEW&C. That about covers it .......you may add a few UAV (Herons and Harrops); Spyder SAM's and now 6 sqdns of Akash.

That's it..................and, if you get to the Army - it's really BAD.

Make a Report card and if you see what's pending (RFP's etc) you'll be amazed at what all this man is sitting on........while the Migs go crashing.

Ajai, Please don't let this go...............

Anonymous said...

ak is like a bag of worms. looks good on the outside but stinks on the inside. he always potrays a silly mr clean image but everyone knows how corrupt he is. i rather have someone like putin who is corrupt and also does good to the country

go anthony go!! go anthony go!!

by the way may i also use this opportunity to shout out for PRASUN SENGUPTA. we miss you and your stuff buddy!! come back quick!!

Anonymous said...

I'm on Anthony's side on this.

See, the system is corrupt. And if someone does not step up and do something, the maggots will continue to milk the system dry.

It's like having an alcohol addiction. The body craves vodka, but you're never going to get over your addiction unless you discipline a habit gone crazy.

I think I like Anthony even more, after reading this article. I think more effort is required in intelligence systems to catch and prosecute the corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 26 February 2010 03:34

-----
It's like having an alcohol addiction. The body craves vodka, but you're never going to get over your addiction unless you discipline a habit gone crazy.
----

Give me the post of MoD,

I will give your vodkas to Putin and get Gorshkov for free.

Will kick the devil and put Dr Kalam in his place.

Will give back pack to madam and pack her to her mafia land

Will fufill kalams dream of making our nation a developed nation.

HA HA HA.. Down down antony

Anonymous said...

I am surprised no one has mentioned /commented on the MIG crashes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pilot-killed-in-MiG-27-crash-/articleshow/5581367.cms


NEW DELHI: In yet another crash in IAF, a MiG-27 fighter went down near Siliguri in West Bengal on Tuesday afternoon, killing the pilot, a squadron leader.

The MiG-27 is a `swing wing' aircraft and the over 100 of them in IAF combat fleet were hardly flown in 2005-2006 after it was found that their R-29 engines were causing a large number of accidents.

With the MiG-27 fleet undergoing an upgrade since then, IAF actually plans to operate these fighters well into the next decade, even though they are ageing, because they constitute an important element of its strike fleet.

The number of IAF fighter squadrons, of course, is itself down to just 32-33 from even the `authorised strength' of 39.5 squadrons. IAF will achieve its desired squadron strength of 42 only after 2020.

From 1971-72 to 2003-04, IAF's consolidated average rate stood at 1.09 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, roughly translating into the loss of 23 aircraft and the death of 10-14 pilots every year.

The crash rate did come down dramatically to around 0.27 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, with an over 50% reduction in crashes after 2003-04. But the number of crashes seem to be going up once again now.

The aging MiG variants, which constitute the bulk of India's combat fleet, have, of course, been the main culprits. The `highly-demanding' MiG-21s, in particular, have a horrifying track-record.

Of the 793 single-engined MiG-21s inducted into IAF since 1963, well over 330 have been lost in accidents. The problem has been compounded by shoddy maintenance, poor quality control of spares and inadequate training to rookie pilots.

Anonymous said...

anon@11.29 so go and stand for election.... and kalam was prez for few years and he too couldnt change much anyway... missile man, what big missile man? what happened to trishul missile??? i think for this too p chidambaram would be the best bet, but good thing he is in an equally important position... i sincerely feel rahul gandhi would do a good job as a pm.

Anonymous said...

either rahul gandhi or nitin gadkari

AK said...

Antony's problem is not that he is "Clean" but rather that he has put his "Clean Image" above the call of his duty. As the Minister of Defence he is supposed to provide the best possible defence for India. Unfortunately, his pre-occupation with his Halo is hurting a lot of people and eventually India.

I hope that Soniaji or Rahul baba remove him from the post of defence minister with immediate effect and put someone more suitable in his place.

Sharad Bailur said...

I am in full agreement with you. Antony's problem is that he thinks that he is a latter day Morarji Desai to whom personal rectitude and perhaps salvation with his own God is more important than national security. He should be asked to go.

Anonymous said...

i got a wonderful article in the December 2009 issue of a publication: strategic affairs.. That article too provides a deep insight into the MoD incompetence and Antony’s saga of ‘honesty’ ....So Ajai is not the only one who is taking a serious responsibility of the ' fourth state'.. there are many others who are working on such issues for a long to bring out the truth...but i personally appreciate that in the age where all bloggers (or so called defence journalists) are some company agents...Ajai has taken a bold step to come out with such write up...i believe he also got a taste of the MoD and its functioning... keep up the good job ....

Anonymous said...

Col requesting help
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/arjun-vs-t-90-tank-trials-to-kick-off-next-month/585683/0

Need you for the nation.

If the Army is so keen on the weight, let the Extra protective armour be removed and a Arjun-Lite T-90 be made of Arjun MBT.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Read a report that the Fin Min has recommended that the Defence Minister be allowed to make purchases/contracts worth upto Rs 1000 crores (up from 200 Cr)without consulting the Fin Min; the proposal is being put to the Cabinet shortly for approval.........................(i think last yr 7000 Cr was unspent and returned back to the Fin Min !!!!)............am not sure if this will get AKA to move and do something on all the numerous RFP's he's been sitting on............

Ajai, please put in follow-up reports and keep the pressure on the man.

Anonymous said...

Restrictions are necessary to safeguard our nation's interests. Being liberal never means opening your doors wide open to the greedy and cunning foreign firms to loot our market. Let our local firms get a grip on the defense contracts. Once they reach a certain level let them compete with the international firms. Now give them some privilege and support to grow up.
Also defense ministry should be specific on their decisions. They should not hurry and loose the public’s money. One wrong or hasty decision made in arms purchase will take at least 20 to 30 years to repair. So its quiet OK to think well before you leap.

Anonymous said...

Ajai , hope you are doing good. I am sure after this article you should have got atleast one call from Defense ministry.

and wish you all best taking these goons again.

pen vs politicians .... fight between P is always tough and it needs more courage

Anonymous said...

this has always been india's problem through the ages....shitty defence.....could be the reason that we got dominated by everyone else....look at it now, a small shitty pakistan playing with us and USA as well really....its getting more LGB and F16...to bomb who, but the poor indian sepoy, whiles the likes of AK sit in their AC homes. I pity the fools that join the forces.