19 January, 2021

It's As Clear As Fog

It’s difficult to believe that Sonia would accept bribes from any defence dealer after her husband’s Bofors experience.

It's As Clear As Fog

The only defence dealer I’ve met left me several nuggets. Defence deals the world over, he told me, had an in-built cost of four per cent as ‘commission’. In India, though, it was 10 per cent. No, it didn’t all go to politicians. “There are so many people involved in defence procurement here that just to get the file to move from one office to another takes time and well, speed money,” he’d said with a laugh. This fits in with the size of the AgustaWestland deal (Rs 3,600 crore) and the amount pledged to middlemen (Rs 385 crore).

I’d looked up the previous defence procurement guidelines—Manohar Parrikar announced a new policy in March—which set out how a requirement was to be flagged, how many agencies needed to endorse it before the ministry would even issue the RFP (request for proposal) to suppliers. After that, ano­ther merry-go-round of committees, followed by price negotiations and nods from the finance ministry and the cabinet before issuing a supply order.

Christian Michel...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Uttam Sengupta

Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section