Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assumed the additional charge of the defence ministry until Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets a suitable candidate to hold this coveted and strategic portfolio of defence.
In PM Modi’s own words, India’s Defence manufacturing will contribute the maximum in India’s flagship Make in India program. Accordingly, the choice of a permanent defence minister assumes immense significance, more so when quiet a few significant programs in the defence sector are on the verge of being finalised.
“It is a big responsibility, I will start from where Manohar Parrikar Ji left,” a humble Jaitley said on taking additional charge as Defence Minister.
Let us look in detail on what Parrikar did during his tenure and what challenges his successor will have to face in the coming months.
- During his two and a half year stint as India’s defence minister, Parrikar brought in a series of policies and programs that imparted the much needed push to the sector. Putting an end to the policy paralysis that existed during the UPA regime, Parrikar cleared procurement of Rs 1.5 lakh worth of equipments by regularly chairing monthly meetings of the Defence Acquisition Council, a body that during the UPA regime met once in six months.
- Be it the announcement of the new Defence Procurement Policy, 2016 in March last year in line with government’s ‘Make in India’ programme, or his regular interactions with the industry and PSUs and holding regular meetings of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), Parrikar had put in place a mechanism that will not be an easy task for his successor.
- The New DPP aims to ensure transparency in defence deals, fast-track acquisition process and indigenisation of defence procurement.