In a significant push to the the government’s flagship programme ‘Make in India’, the country’s Defence Ministry has identified about 25 projects that will open them up to the industry for participation shortly.
“We have initially shortlisted these. There will have to be many interactions with the ministry and other stakeholders to finalise them,” A.K. Gupta, Secretary, Defence Production, said. However, he didn’t divulge any estimates of the size of these projects.
India is one the biggest spenders in the defence sector and has signed contracts worth around $15 billion in this segment in the last one year. Mr Gupta also said that the government’s new, simplified defence procurement procedure has made things much more ‘transparent’. “A lot of things have been streamlined. Earlier what used to happen in offset agreements was that once you are part of an agreement, you can’t change anything. Now full flexibility has been given to the industry to choose their offset partners and components provided both are in the eligibility list,” he said.
Mr Gupta also added that the government has provided 319 licenses to 190 companies since 2001. He added that of these 50 companies having 79 licences have already started production.
This move will bolster the indigenous manufacturing which India seeks to achieve. India has entered into agreements with its key strategic partners, including US, Russia, Israel, France and Germany, to jointly manufacture under the ‘Make in India’. The increase in defence manufacturing is also expected to generate more employment in the next few years.
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