India’s frontrunner for prime minister Narendra Modi has pledged to speed up corruption-hit defense procurement if he comes to power to ensure the country’s military is better prepared for battle.
As the nation’s general election enters its final stretch, Modi said timely, cost-effective and corruption-free purchase of defense weapons and other equipment was critical for the military.
“The last 10 years has seen our defense preparedness becoming weak on account of several procurement procedures mired by long delays leading to shortage of arms and equipment,” Modi told the Times of India in an interview published Tuesday.
“In the past, we have had a paradoxical situation where there was hardly any procurement happening in time and still serious questions of transparency have been raised.”
“The ideal situation is an efficient procurement system leading to timely and cost-effective procurement of quality defense equipment, done in a transparent manner,” he said.
Modi, a Hindu nationalist hardliner, and his opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are expected to vault to power over the ruling Congress party after a decade in power when results are announced on May 16.
India has faced a long list of failed defense deals over the years as a result of corruption allegation scandals that have left the military short of crucial equipment.
In January, India cancelled a deal with the Italian-owned AgustaWestland to buy 12 luxury helicopters amid allegations the company paid bribes to win the 556-million-euro ($753 million) contract.
The scuppered deals come at the same time as India’s military needs are growing, with tensions on its border with Pakistan, an increasingly assertive China and growing ambitions for India’s role in world affairs.
In the longer term, Modi said India must reduce its reliance on other defense suppliers — traditionally Russia but now also including the United States, Israel and France.
“We should involve Indian corporates in PPPs (public-private partnerships) for defense manufacturing. We have the scientific and technical know-how but the arms lobby has prevented indigenization of military hardware.”
“This must change, making India more self-reliant and also saving foreign exchange,” he said.
In the interview, Modi also said ties with arch rival Pakistan could not improve unless the country worked hard to stop militants from carrying out attacks on Indian soil.
“The first step in building any meaningful relationship with Pakistan has to be Pakistan taking effective and demonstrable action against the terror networks that operate from its soil.”
“Once that happens, there will an increased trust between the two neighbors which will enable us to pursue a policy of dialogue to solve all the issues.”
Related Topic Tags
Keywords:modi and defense equipment, modi in defence technology of india 2014 on youtube
Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions
- Ukranian Crisis
- How truly capable is the United States Navy?
- Royal Navy Carrier Battle Group composition
- Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates
- Indonesia: 'green water navy'
- Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates
- Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates
- Royal New Zealand Air Force
- Singapore Army Pictures - 2014 Onwards
- Iraq war/unrest/fighting
- NZDF General discussion thread
- Russian Navy Discussions and Updates
- Royal New Zealand Navy Discussions and Updates
- Philippines to Re-Focus on Territorial Defence in 2012
- Cooling system supplier for Wheeled armored vehicle