Leadership: India Tries To Change the Rules

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March 2, 2008: India is increasing its defense budget about ten percent next year, to over $26 billion. Last year, the budget went up 7.8 percent. But there are still problems with buying new weapons. The domestic arms manufacturers are inefficient, and often delay delivery of new items for years. Like defense contractors everywhere, the Indian ones tend to promise more than they can deliver. This puts pressure on the military to buy foreign gear instead. But that sort of thing often leads to corrupt practices (like demanding bribes from foreign suppliers). Currently, 38 Indian officials and officers are being prosecuted for such corruption. This has made honest procurement officials overly cautious, further slowing down the acquisition process.

The military has good personnel, but is way behind in terms of modern equipment. Low pay has also caused a severe officer shortage. Excellent NCOs can only do so much to cover these shortages.

 


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