Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, urged the Indian defence sector on Friday to increase its focus on R&D and make fresh investments in order to reach new heights.
“Make new investments, put more emphasis on research & development, and harness its full potential to take the Indian defence industry to new heights. This effort of yours will be very important not only for the defence industry, but also for the overall growth of the entire country,” said Singh while addressing the 117th Annual session of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHD-CCI) here.
The minister claimed that PHD-CCI, one of the oldest business organisations with a sizable number of domestic and foreign members, could serve as an ambassador for the Indian defence sector.
“Your roots are spread far and wide in the country and abroad. You can fulfil your role by communicating with all the domestic and foreign companies, connecting them with the Indian defence industry and acting as a bridge between these two,” he said.
In an upbeat statement, Singh stated that the Indian defence industry is developing gradually in collaboration with the private sector.
“There was either no way for the private sector in the past to enter the defence sector, and even if there was some scope, the industry was not ready to set foot in the defence sector due to various reasons.”
According to the minister of defence, in the case of private sector, the government has eliminated these bottlenecks and served as an incubator, accelerator, consumer, and facilitator.
The Ministry of Defence has taken a number of actions as part of the government’s “Make in India” and “Self-reliant India” programmes to disrupt the status quo and foster an environment conducive to manufacturing where both the public and private sectors can participate.
He went on to describe the extensive reforms made by the MoD to increase private sector involvement in the defence industry, including the opening of government labs to the private sector, the free transfer of technology, the provision of access to test facilities, and the provision of upfront funding through the DRDO.
The Ministry of Defence has published three lists of 309 products with positive indigenization that will be purchased from domestic vendors in accordance with regulations. Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) have also released three lists, including more than 3,700 Line Replacement Units, Sub-systems, and other Components. Additionally, an iDEX effort has been started to support start-ups and innovators.
The minister noted that the government has taken a number of measures, including the establishment of two defence industrial corridors in each of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and the corporatization of OFB, which offers a win-win situation for the military, business, start-ups, and innovators.
“The magnitude of all these efforts is beginning to come before us. Today we are not only producing to meet our own defence needs, but also fulfilling the defence needs of many other countries under ‘Make for the World”, underlined defence minister in his speech.