The defence ministry on Tuesday took stock of the various modernisation projects for the armed forces, holding that arms acquisition proposals worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore were cleared by the NDA government since it assumed office in May 2014.
"Of them, 81schemes have fully matured. Moreover, another 66 schemes worth around Rs 2 lakh crore have been accorded AoN (acceptance of necessity or preliminary approvals) over the last two years," a defence ministry official said.
After the defence acquisitions council (DAC) meeting chaired by Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday evening, officials said "a letter of intent" had been issued to Goa Shipyard for the Rs 32,000 crore project to construct 12 mine counter-measure vessels (MCMVs) for the Navy with foreign collaboration. The DAC also cleared the followon order for 619 high-mobility 6x6 vehicles from the Tatas at a cost of Rs 457 crore.
TOI had earlier reported that while the NDA government has indeed set a scorching pace to clear new defence acquisition proposals, the follow-through has been slow to ensure they swiftly lead to inking of actual contracts. At the DAC meeting, Parrikar took note of the fact that despite "concerted efforts" there were 314 cases which had not yet fructified. "Of them, 86 schemes worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore are now close to the final stages of approval. The minister directed all concerned that efforts must be made to get them cleared in the next four to five months," the official said. Parrikar also advised the Army, Navy and IAF to review their acquisition projects which have been pending for long, and are yet to fructify, for their "contemporary relevance".
The three Services will now take forward "only the relevant schemes" and junk the rest after the review. The minister also reviewed proposed capital acquisition proposals and budgetary requirements of the three Services for the next 10 years. "This will be an ongoing exercise to refine and further mature the long-term budgetary planning," the official said.