New Delhi : The landmark Indo-US logistics pact that provides for cashless refuelling, replenishment and related services to the militaries of the two countries could be functional as early as July with most of the kinks ironed out, informed sources said.
“The agreement is likely to be implemented before the Malabar exercise,” the sources told IANS referring to the annual India-US-Japan naval drill in the Bay of Bengal that is slated for July.
Manohar Parrikar, then India’s Defence Minister and his US counterpart at the time, Ashton Carter, had inked the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) last August.
Under this, both countries will designate military facilities on either side for facilities like refuelling and replenishment — with the books being balanced at the end of year.
During joint exercises like Malabar, both countries were required to make payments each time for using each other’s facilities. Now, the accounts will be settled once a year. According to the sources, the details of the agreement have been worked out, with India sharing its “point of contact” list. The US had shared its list last year.
This list lays down the ports globally where vessels of the two countries can dock to take on supplies.
The sources also said that the vexed issue of arriving at a common accounting system for the three services has also been resolved.
The agreement had been pending for 10 years, with the former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government fighting shy of expressing its opinion one way or the other.