India’s Defence Policy Unveiled

India’s first ever (and long delayed) Defence Pro­duc­tion Pol­i­cy is to be unveiled and come into use in Jan­u­ary 2011, along­side “major changes” to a revamped Defence Pro­cure­ment Pol­i­cy (DPP), Indi­an defence min­is­ter AK Antony let out today.

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India cur­rent­ly has a vast state-owned defence pro­duc­tion base, but con­tin­ues to depend incon­gru­ous­ly on imports for much of its weapons and mil­i­tary hard­ware needs. A skep­ti­cal view would be that a new pol­i­cy for defence pro­duc­tion won’t change what is a high­ly con­trolled sec­tor. Anoth­er view would be what the hell have we been doing with­out a defence pro­duc­tion pol­i­cy so far?

“Our aim is to have a strong defence indus­tri­al base in India, because a coun­try like India can­not indef­i­nite­ly depend on for­eign sup­pli­ers for major­i­ty of our equip­ments. At the moment 65–70 per­cent of equip­ment is import­ed; we have to reverse this trend,” the min­is­ter said.

The min­is­ter indi­cat­ed that state-owned com­pa­nies (like HAL, BEL, BEML etc) alone could not meet the require­ments of the armed forces — the new pol­i­cy would facil­i­tate the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the pri­vate sec­tor in more sub­stan­tive and less reg­i­ment­ed way. “Both pub­lic sec­tor ship­yards will have to com­pete with the Indi­an pri­vate ship­yards to get projects for the Indi­an Navy. So all the Indi­an Navy’s pro­cure­ments in future will be from Buy Indi­an, Make Indi­an,” he said.

Antony paused in his speech at an awards func­tion for excel­lence this morn­ing to wag his fin­ger at PSU boss­es present, inform­ing them that they need­ed to pull up their socks and brace for heavy com­pe­ti­tion from the pri­vate sec­tor from next year.

Source:
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