ibnlive » India

Feb 17, 2008 at 12:38pm IST

'Ban on middlemen in defence deals to stay'

New Delhi: The Union Defence Minister AK Antony has sent a tough message to middlemen saying that the ban on them in defence deals will stay.

"The government stand is very clear. There is no question of middleman in any defence case," Antony said.

Antony tried to defend the integrity of the defence procurement process even as India is expected to spend $30 billion in arms purchases over the next five years.

He also justified the abrupt cancellation of two mega tenders in 2007 that set back the military's artillery and helicopter modernization programmes by several years.

Many of India's defenbce deal have been under scanner because of the alleged role of the middlemen with the Bofors deal for the supply of 155 mm artillery gun being one of the most talked about one.