Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a seminar in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo/ANI
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a seminar in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo/ANI

Rajnath pitches for indigenisation, says private industry can use government test facilities

ANI | Updated: Aug 20, 2019 23:52 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 20 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday laid stress on progressively reducing dependence on foreign manufacturers and indigenously developing comprehensive capabilities in the defence sector, while approving private industry to use test facilities of government entities to meet the quality standards for defence manufacturing.
Speaking on 'Modernisation and Indigenisation plans of the Indian Air Force' at a seminar here, he referred to the airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a terror camp in Pakistan and said it is a "technologically advanced and extremely potent force."
"The recent offensive against terror outfits in our neighbourhood speaks volumes about the reach and lethality of the formidable arm of the armed forces," he said.
An official release said Singh urged the private industry to take advantage of the policy initiatives of the government and engage with defence services, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for meeting their indigenisation demands.
He affirmed the government's commitment to resolving any outstanding issue in the way of growth and development of indigenous industries in the defence sector.
He said indigenisation requirements of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), OFB, DPSUs, Army, Air Force, and Navy have also been hosted on Ministry of Defence (MoD) website for the benefit of the private industry.
He called upon the industry not to expect any short-term returns but invest for long term gains.
The minister announced approval for the use of test facilities of government entities for the private industry to "meet the best quality standards required for defence manufacturing."
"We have just approved the proposal for providing test facilities of government entities to the private defence sector. A formal order on the same will soon be issued. This has removed various bottlenecks which used to come in way of using test facilities by private entities. The decision has been taken after incorporating the comments of the stakeholders particularly indigenous defence manufacturers," he said.
Singh expressed hope that the synergy between government's efforts and industry participation will help fulfill the long-cherished dream of making India a frontrunner in defence production.
He said IAF, Army, and Navy need to keep pace with the advancements in technology for enhancing operational capabilities.
Singh said efforts are being made to increase the participation of the private sector in 'Make in India' in the defence sector.
Noting that foreign investment up to 49 per cent was allowed through automatic route and up to 100 per cent under the government route on a case-to-case basis, he urged foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to establish manufacturing facilities in India.
"A number of opportunities are available to foreign companies through FDI, Joint Ventures or the defence offset route," he said.
Singh also said the process of defence offset implementation has been streamlined and one of the major demands of the industry to reinstate the provision of services for the discharge of offsets has now been provided.
He made a mention of outsourcing and vendor development guidelines for DPSUs and OFB to promote the participation of the private sector, particularly MSMEs in defence production.
Noting that defence products list for issuing industrial licenses under Industry Development and Regulation (IDR) Act has been revised, he said it has reduced the entry barriers for the industry especially the small and medium segment.
The initial validity of Industrial license has been increased from three years to fifteen years with a provision to further extend it by three years on a case-to-case basis.
He said a number of policies have been introduced for the development of defence infrastructure and promote indigenous development.
Referring to the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme which has been established under the aegis of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to promote self-reliance in Defence Technology as part of 'Make in India' initiative, he said the scheme will encourage participation of public and private industries especially MSMEs so as to create an ecosystem for enhancing cutting edge technology capability for defence application.
In his remarks, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa said there is a need to replace obsolete war-fighting equipment with indigenous technology and bridge technological gaps in the defence sector.
The Union Home Minister also urged the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to establish manufacturing facilities for their products in India and invest in the country through Foreign Direct Investment, joint ventures or via defence offset route.
He also informed the gathering that the Central government has revised defence product list for the purpose of issuing industrial licenses under the Industries Development and Regulation Act, 1951.
"Testing equipment, production of equipment have been removed from the list. This has certainly reduced the entry barriers for the industry, especially the small and medium segment. The initial validity of the industrial license has also been increased from three years to 15 years with a provision to the further extend it by 3 years on case to case basis," he added.
Singh also mentioned about Balakot airstrike and said, "Indian Air Force is a technologically advanced and extremely potent force. The recent offensive strike against terrorist outfits in our neighborhood speaks volumes about the reach and lethality of the formidable arm of the Indian Armed Forces." (ANI)