Defence Minister AK Antony, known for his clean image, has urged top defence officials not to fall into the trap of corruption in the “garb of aggressive marketing.”
“At times, vested interests bring about unnecessary pressure and resort to corrupt practices that can wreak serious havoc upon our security in more ways than one. We must resist such efforts collectively and resolutely in National interests,” Antony told top officials of the Indian Air Force today.
Antony’s advice comes in the wake of widespread allegations of scams and corruption among different ministries that have embarrassed the government in the last one year. D
efence deals, due to billions of dollars involved, are considered most prone to corruption and quid-pro-quo across the World. A media sting by Tehelka several years ago had exposed the seamier side of defence procurement in India.
Antony also said despite India’s liberalized procurement norms, the country must focus on making its own weapons.
“No nation will ever part with its first generation equipment”, he said, urging scientists and the forces to consult each other to make better and better weapons.
Currently, nearly all of India’s top weapons, such as artillery, tanks and fighter jets, come from foreign countries such as France, Russia and increasingly, the US.