New Delhi: The Centre will soon notify liberalised norms for hiring of agents by foreign armament companies, which it is hoped will usher in some transparency in the country’s defence procurement process which is yet again under the scanner after the chopper scam.
Defence ministry sources said framing of guidelines on agents or authorised representatives, who are different from banned or illegal middlemen, was in the final stages.
With hardly any legalised defence agents on the rolls of MoD due to stringent guidelines, the new policy seeks to encourage registration of a greater number of agents for transparency. These agents can help foreign armament firms through the paces of the cumbersome Indian arms procurement system in responding to tenders, trials, price negotiations, aftersales service, resolving performance and warranty issues.
“The agent will be paid a reasonable or rational remuneration by the company that hires him or her, without it being linked to whether the firm actually bags the contract or not. So, there will be no commissions for success in clinching the contract,” said a source.