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Amit Cowshish

Amit Cowshish is a former Financial Advisor (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence and presently a Distinguished Fellow with the Indian Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Click here for Detailed Profile

Impact of the Recommendations of the Standing Committee on Defence (15th Lok Sabha) on the Defence Budget

January 2015

The examination of the detailed demands for grant (DDGs) of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by the Standing Committee on Defence of the 14th Lok Sabha (2004–05 to 2008–09) and recommendations made by the committee had little impact on the country’s defence budget. While the examination was generally perfunctory, the recommendations were either too general or too impractical to be implemented by MoD. This is the second of two articles that examines how the Standing Committee on Defence of the 15th Lok Sabha (2009–10 to 2013–14) followed the same pattern.

Impact of the Recommendations of the Standing Committee on Defence (14th Lok Sabha) on the Defence Budget

October 2014

In the run-up to the voting on the budget, detailed demands for grant(DDGs) presented by various ministries to the Parliament are examinedby the departmentally-related standing committees. As Parliamentcannot possibly examine more than 100 DDGs presented to it everyyear, these committees are required to examine them in detail and reportback to the Parliament. One such committee is the Standing Committeeon Defence.

Indo-US Cooperation in Defence Production: Hagel’s visit to India

August 13, 2014

There now seems to be greater recognition of India’s concerns on transfer of technology and not just about co-production but also co-development of next generation weapons. The larger objective for India, however, must be to reduce its dependence on import of foreign equipment and modernize its armed forces in the quickest possible timeframe.

Reviewing Defence Offset Guidelines: A Recap

July 17, 2014

The Guidelines of 2012 have been under review for some time. While a drastic shift in the policy is unlikely, some changes in the policy, clarity about some of the existing provisions and simplification of the procedure seem necessary to make the policy work better.

Takeaways for Defence in the Union Budget 2014-15

July 11, 2014

There are speculations whether the present budget is sufficient to meet expenditure on big ticket items but one has to bear in mind that it is only the advance payment – generally 15% of the contract value – that becomes payable on signing of a new contract. Even if new contracts are signed for say INR 50,000 crore, MoD will require just about INR 7,500 crore for those schemes.

Takeaways from Defence Minister’s address at Naval Commanders’ Conference

July 01, 2014

The Defence Minister made two significant points: one, the need for making a significant amount of the nation’s resources available for defence and two, he talked about the slow pace of acquisition of defence equipment as the key concern. These are unexceptional statements of intent and the challenge would be to meet these objectives.

FDI in Defence - Revisiting the Conundrum

June 26, 2014

The proposal to relax the present cap on FDI in defence has expectedly drawn sharp reactions. Those who oppose argue that higher FDI is not required and, more importantly, it will not be in national interest, not the least because it will stymie the process of indigenization. This calls for a dispassionate analysis.

Moving on with the Defence & Security of India

May 20, 2014

Ministry of Defence which accounts for 13-14 per cent of the central government expenditure, if one also takes into account the expenditure on defence pensions, could come under some pressure to prepare an action plan as the outcome of what it does is often intangible, undisclosable, or simply unmeasurable. The author puts forward some suggestions.

Vulnerabilities in the Capital Acquisition Process

From the stage of inception of a procurement proposal till the signing of the contract, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) diligently follows a fairly elaborate procurement procedure for capital acquisitions, as also for revenue procurements. The purpose of laying down a procedure is to minimize discretion and bring in transparency at every stage to eliminate the possibility of undue influence on decision making. But this does not seem to have worked very well for the MoD as instances of corruption keep surfacing every now and then.

Foreign Direct Investment Policy 2014: Status Quo for the Defence Sector

April 23, 2014

One of the provisions in the policy is that in the Information & Broadcasting and the Defence sectors, where the sectoral cap is less than 49 per cent, the company would need to be ‘owned and controlled’ by resident Indian citizens and Indian companies, which, in turn, are owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens. This is a virtual impossibility.