Draft DPP 2020 holds promise, but the implementation may pose a bigger challenge

The much-awaited draft of the defence procurement procedure (DPP) 2020 was released by the defence minister in the capital on 20 March 2020. It aims at promoting indigenous manufacturing and reducing the painfully long time it presently takes to complete the procurement cycle.

A high-level committee headed by the director-general (acquisition) and assisted by several sub-committees have put together this 700+ page document after labouring over it for more than six months.

Though the industry representatives were associated with the deliberations of the committee, the ministry of defence (MoD) has sought comments, suggestions and recommendations on the draft by 17 April 2020. It is an opportunity for all the interested parties to pitch in and help MoD in promulgating policies and procedures which serve the purpose for which these are made.

What sets the draft DPP 2020 apart from its predecessors are several new concepts and special procedures that have been included in it. The most innovative of them all is the provision for leasing of equipment from the Indian and global suppliers. This will save capital expenditure on outright purchase and save the trouble of having to dispose of the asset after it completes its useful life.

New chapters have been added, and the existing provisions amplified, prescribing or streamlining the procedure for execution of software-based projects, performance-based logistics, life cycle support, comprehensive maintenance contract, field evaluation trials, involvement of start-ups and innovators in the ‘Make’ projects, promotion of more extensive use of artificial intelligence and locally developed special materials, and many other activities.

Perhaps for the first time ever, the contracts will acknowledge the intellectual property rights of the seller over the equipment being supplied to the MoD.

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