NEW DELHI — India may change its weapon procurement policies to give preference to domestic defense industry.
Defense procurement procedures were discussed in the March 3 meeting of India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), the Ministry of Defense’s top authority on the purchase of weapons. A more detailed discussion is now planned for the April 20 meeting of the DAC, said an MoD official.
The latest changes being contemplated include giving first preference to domestic industry before issuing global tenders. However, the domestic industry is still not mature enough to absorb the latest technologies, said defense analyst Nitin Mehta. .
In the wake of the recent AgustaWestland helicopter scandal, defense analysts were unanimous that India needs to boost its domestic industry capabilities to reduce reliance on imports. India currently imports nearly 70 percent of its weapons and equipment, with domestic industry largely made up of state-owned companies.
The MoD has expressed concern over the slow growth of the private sector defense industry.