Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday called for “brutally” eliminating norms and archaic rules to accelerate military modernization and said the colonial-era L1 concept under which contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder , it has lost its relevance.
He also referred to the “huge challenges” facing the military in avoiding technological obsolescence and said that “there is a real danger that our lengthy procurement process and bureaucratic speed-breakers will prevent us from acquiring cutting-edge technology”.
In an address at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, General Naravane, referring to the L1 concept, wondered why price determines the options of the armed forces when money is destined to be pumped back into the domestic economy as the focus is on indigenous On the purchase of developed military hardware.
“In the defense sector, the emphasis is towards ease of doing business. The industry also needs to actively pursue reforms. Processes that are out of sync with the contemporary times and our future vision should be shaped by modern best practices. should be shed ruthlessly,” he said. said.
“The L1 system is a legacy of the colonial era that has lost its relevance in a system that insisted on indigenisation. After all, why only price determines our choices, when money is destined to be pumped back into the domestic economy. ” he said.
General Naravane said much work has been done to bring about systemic change but archaic rules and procedures still exist, defying logic and at variance with modern best practices.
“With the cycle of new and disruptive technologies getting shorter and faster, avoiding technological obsolescence remains a major challenge. As our long drawn out procurement processes and bureaucratic speed-breakers will prevent us from acquiring cutting-edge technology, it is a real threat ” said.
“A lot of work has been done in bringing about systemic change aimed at ease of doing business. Although this is a work in progress. There are still archaic rules and procedures that defy logic and differ from modern best practices. This is needed can be addressed,” he said.
Citing the example of Israel, the Chief of Army Staff emphasized how even small countries with huge challenges and limited resources are able to achieve so much riding on a vibrant and responsive defense ecosystem.
“Israel is a fitting example. As contracts are signed with local businesses, investment in defense tends to fall back into the economy,” he said.
General Naravane said technology is driving a “war-fighting revolution” and Indian MSMEs need to reinvent themselves and engage in niche domains and build capabilities to offer innovative solutions.
The army chief said national security is not just the defense of the armed forces and it is an “entire government effort”.
He said, “It is equally true that wars are fought by nations and not just by armies. The government has sought to create a conducive environment and a supportive ecosystem to encourage the defense industry to grow and expand. Many initiatives have been taken.”
He also referred to the “extremely positive outcome” of the government giving emergency powers to the armed forces for critical procurement. The emergency powers were given in June last year till March and later it was extended till August.
General Naravane said 113 contracts for revenue procurement of operationally important ammunition, armaments, vehicles, parts and specialized mountaineering equipment were executed for about Rs 9,000 crore, while 68 other contracts for capital procurement of about Rs 6,500 crore were executed. Sealed at Rs.
“During the conclusion of these contracts, due to diligence and financial prudence of the Emergency Empowered Committee at the Service Headquarters level, the State had saved about Rs 1700 crore,” he said.
“The contract was signed within a year for delivery to begin. The system has been a win-win combination for the industry and the user,” he said.
General Naravane stressed that the Indian Army is fully committed to promoting the Indian defense industry and has signed contracts worth over Rs 16,000 crore in recent months.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)