Showing concern on the way ministry of defence (MoD) manages its money, the Indian Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar recently revealed that he discovered India was paying the US Department of Defence (Pentagon) for new weaponry, despite around $3 billion (Rs. 20,000 crore) been remitted earlier was lying in a Washington account.
In a disquieting comment on how the MOD manages its funds, Parrikar stated that “Because of ill-management, or lack of attention to this account, we had slightly less than $3 billion which is piled up in this account, which was not earning any interest. It was just lying there in the account”.
The Indian Government had placed the money in the Pentagon-managed account for weaponry it was buying under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. In this, the Pentagon procures equipment on behalf of foreign governments from the US vendors such as the Boeing and Lockheed Martin. This amount was placed by the previous UPA government.
He claimed that the account has come down to $1.7-1.8 billion and they have saved almost $700-800 million in the foreign exchange.
He also told about saving around Rs. 3,000 crore by looking at the payment norms to Indian vendors, including the defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs). He said payment had been made even to companies that failed to deliver the contracted equipment.
Parrikar also clarified that the government had instituted a new way of tabulating the defence budget, which would reflect at several expenditures that have so far been kept almost invisible.