At a time when the controversial VVIP chopper deal has exposed loopholes in India’s arms procurement process, defence minister AK Antony said the government would further tighten norms to eliminate corruption in defence deals.
He said reduced dependence on foreign vendors could help avoid kickback allegations that delay the acquisition of crucial platforms — India sources more than 65% of its military requirements from abroad. The country has overtaken China to become the world’s largest weapons importer.
“The need to maintain transparency at every stage cannot be compromised. In spite of taking precautions, these things are happening,” Antony said, expressing his frustration over corrupt practices in defence deals. He said the armed forces must ensure that importing weapons was the last resort and not the easiest one.