Procurement: The Immortal Bureaucrats Of Doom

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December 10, 2014:   The newly elected government in India is keeping its promise to move forward with many defense procurement efforts that have been stalled for years (some for over a decade) by politics and a particularly slothful defense procurement bureaucracy. Thus in October the government ordered another $13 billion in defense purchases to go ahead. There is still another major obstacle to actually buying desperately needed new military equipment and weapons and that is the constant political pressure to buy Indian made stuff rather than more reliable and expensive imports. There has long been a lot a resistance to “buy India” within the Indian military because Indian designed and manufactured gear tends to be second rate, or worse, compared to equivalent stuff from the West. This is another aspect of the corruption and inefficiency that permeates most anything the Indian government gets involved in. This time the government has sided with the generals and admirals and admonished the Indian defense firms to do better and become competitive if they want this business. At the same time the government is allowing more foreign purchases, especially from Israel. The Israelis produce quality stuff at competitive prices. The Israelis are also willing to transfer technology and help train Indian engineers to produce stuff to world standards. But the problem remains the Indian procurement bureaucracy which has a record of interfering with anything that makes Indian defense manufacturing more productive. This is another problem the new government wants to take on, despite decades of successful resistance to reform by the Indian bureaucracy.

 

 


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