With India on the threshold of floating international tenders for mega armament acquisitions worth billions of dollars, watchdog Central Vigilance Commission has issued new directives on defence purchases.
Under the directives, CVC has asked the Defence Ministry to avoid single vendor situations in any deal except in very exceptional circumstances and inclusion of Standard Contract terms in Request for Proposals.
The Commission has also told the Defence Ministry not to deviate or dilute qualitative requirements after the request for proposals has been made.
The CVC directive comes as the Defence Ministry is about to float international tenders for purchase of 126 multi-role combat aircraft, a deal which industry sources say could be biggest ever deal by India, running up to or more than USD 15 billion.
It is not the only mega defence deal coming up. In another big ticket deal worth more than USD 700 million, the Army is to sign an agreement for purchase of 197 helicopters to replace its ageing fleet of Chetaks and Cheetahs.
Two firms, Bell Helicopter of the US and European consortium EADS, the maker of Euro-Copter, have been shortlisted and evaluated.
Another big ticket deal would be for the purchase of new 155MM guns upgraded to .52 calibre. India is opting to buy 400 of these upgraded guns whose induction is almost 12 years behind schedule.
The army has already conducted three test trials and an unprecedented fourth one is currently on between the Swedish Bofors guns and Israeli Soltam guns.