This man Antony is turning out to be good..... I would rate him higher in Indian defence minister's list now. Under him our forces are transforming rapidly. NEW DELHI â€” Despite criticism of the Indian Defence Ministryâ€™s slow pace of weapon procurement, Defence Minister A.K. Antony has reiterated that core values of transparency and accountability will not be surrendered to fast-track purchases. â€œWhile modernization remains the topmost priority of the government, and to achieve the same a mechanism has been put in place to fast-track procurement of equipment and upgradation of infrastructure, this cannot be done at the cost of a set of core values â€” transparency, probity and accountability,â€ Antony said. Addressing the Unified Commanderâ€™s Conference here April 24, Antony urged all commanders to ensure that these principles are adopted and followed in letter and spirit, according to a Defence Ministry statement. The ministry has failed to spend all the money allocated to it for buying fresh weapons and equipment in the last 10 years because the contracts are getting delayed on procedural issues, an Indian Army official said. This year, about $600 million was surrendered in the budget of 2011-â€™12, mainly because two contracts were not finalized. The total value of those contracts was $580 million for ultra-light howitzers and $750 million for the purchase of 197 light utility helicopters. The Defence Ministry now revises procurement procedures on a year-to-year basis to fine-tune the policy. Antony asked the military services to put their best foot forward by having a well-defined approach to procurement, based on clear and objective General Staff Qualitative Requirements. He said there also is a need to ensure that procedures are strictly adhered to, and the services ensure the timely meeting of technical parameters, according to the statement.