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
The objective of the TPCR is to give an opportunity to the Indian industry to draw up business plans for developing technologies which could be transformed into capabilities required by the armed forces.
Defence acquisitions are always much debated and scrutinised. The criticism ranges from a lack of direction in procurements to needles procedural complexities and from corruption in defence deals to bureaucratic apathy. The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by the Defence Minister, has taken some bold and much needed decisions on April 20, 2013 in an attempt to address some of these issues.
By now making software development ineligible for discharge of offsets we might be depriving ourselves of what was considered necessary only a couple of months ago. This could also prove to be a setback for the Indian software industry.
In its most candid form, the fundamental message is that the growth in the allocation for defence, as indeed for other sectors, may not always be consistent with the past trend or as per the long-term growth rates indicated by the Ministry of Finance.
While the anguish over the state of modernization of the armed forces, the slow march towards achieving the capability for simultaneous action on two-fronts and rather feeble power projection on a global scale are understandable, what is not understandable is the expectation that the outlays for achieving these objectives would increase exponentially, irrespective of the state of the economy.
The prospects of allocation for the next year being less than the allocation for the current year are remote because of the immense implications it would entail, although it is likely that the growth in the budgetary allocation for the next fiscal may be less than what has been the case in the past.