Dr M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence, declared here today that the government is in the process of liberalising the export procedures for the defence sector. The changes are in different stages of discussion. He also mentioned that the government plans to enhance partnerships between public and private sector and looks forward to design state-of-the-art defence technology in India. In India procurement of defence equipment is growing. Amendments are being made in the existing act to expand the process of procurement, he added.
Dr Raju affirmed that in India defence forces are in modernisation phase, and for that the Defence Procurement Procedures were reviewed regularly. The introduction of the new category of acquisition Buy and Make Indian is a way towards indigenisation. Now SMEs in India are also contributing to defence programmes and playing a critical role in delivering defence equipment requirements.
Dr Raju stated that there is huge scope for expanding defence offset policy and Ministry of Defence is now working to make the policy more liberal in order to enhance partnerships, joint ventures and alliances with overseas defence equipment suppliers.
Shekhar Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, said, In the last 20 years, Indias defence sector has witnessed rapid advancement. This change came about after the liberalisation of Indian economy. The defence production in India was striving to achieve self-reliance.
M.V. Kotwal, President, Heavy Engineering Division, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Limited and Chairman, FICCI Defence Committee, welcomed the governments commitment to actively involve the private sector in the defence sector.
There is tremendous opportunity in defence sector but under utilised capabilities have to be explored to set up a robust industry. The potential for partnership between public and private sector within India itself is huge, Kotwal observed.