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India pledges procurement transparency

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has promised to publish details about its military procurement requirements within one week of being approved.

The MoD said on 20 August that the decision is intended to benefit bidders for defence programmes that did not respond to earlier requests for information (RFIs).

Under the plan, the MoD will publish information about planned acquisitions that have been approved at the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage.

The MoD and Indian armed forces websites will be “mandated” to publish the details about the AoN “within one week of receipt of approvals”, the MoD said. It added that the AoN information will consider national security sensitivities.

“This is an important step towards greater transparency and information symmetry, and will provide an opportunity to the additional vendors who did not respond to the RFI but wish to express interest for receipt of RFP [request for proposals] and submission of bid,” said the MoD in a statement issued by the government's Press Information Bureau.

It added that the decision will enable bidders to plan industrial partnerships and production requirements.

Ajay Bhatt, India's minister of state for defence, had said in parliament in July that during the past three fiscal years (until end of March 2021) the government had approved 119 AoNs worth INR2.15 trillion (USD29 billion) to promote domestic manufacturing.

In late 2019 the MoD also told parliament that between 2014 and September 2019, 218 AoN proposals had been approved, worth more than INR4 trillion.

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