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India slow in defence acquisition: A K Antony

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Acknowledging that India was slow in weapon procurement compared to neighbouring countries, Defence Minister A K Antony said the delays would be addressed through the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2010 and Defence Production Policy.

Compared to the neighbouring countries, India’s acquisition process is slow, he told the media here after inaugurating the Defence Expo.

"We have to further reduce the delays," Antony said.

"But at the same time we are spending money from the public exchequer. We have to make sure that every pie is spent judiciously. In over-anxiety, we don’t compromise on transparency," he said.

Contending that the procurement processes were being refined and evolved continuously, he said the thrust area in the forthcoming DPP-2010 would be on reducing delays in acquisitions and procuring more systems from the indigenous manufacturers.

A new defence production policy will be released which will also focus on increasing indigenisation in defence procurement, he said.

Asked about the "slowing down" of the armed forces' modernisation during his tenure as Defence Minister, Antony said, "In my opinion, the armed forces and the country are not as pessimist as you."

He said in the last five years, the defence expenditure has been doubled and it now stands at 2.3-2.5 per cent of the GDP (equivalent to about Rs 1.41 lakh crore).

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