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Private Sector in for a Decisive Role in Defence

Paris. The Government will ensure a decisive and positive role for the private sector in building the defence industrial infrastructure.

Minister of State for Planning (Independent Charge) and Defence Rao Inderjit Singh told this writer in an interview on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show that during his meetings here with representatives of global defence companies, he had assured them of conducive environment and a relaxation of procedures to facilitate investments in India. “What we are looking for is synergy between Indian and foreign companies towards the Make in India perspective, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

“India has big requirements in defence, and it is appropriate to build a domestic industrial infrastructure. What we are looking for is that such an infrastructure should also serve as a part of the global supply chain.”
“If there is something like an Airbus Asia for instance, we will welcome it,” he observed pointing out that he had been assured full support by the top leadership of this company in the Make in India projects.

Asked about the poor quality of products built by the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), and mostly much beyond scheduled timelines and promises, Rao Inderjit Singh said the state-run DPSUs had monopoly and no competition. That is why the Government is now keen to bring in the private sector.

“Competition will sharpen edges on both the sides, the country will get world class products – which we want – and the investments in defence industrial manufacturing should be massive, coming from both Indian and foreign sources. The Ministry of Defence will also remove any bugs in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) that governs foreign participation.”

About blacklisting of companies, the minister said that wherever there is an allegation, it will be investigated and action taken IF REQUIRED. The majority of the allegations are raised due to mischief, and mostly by losers in competitions. Just because someone makes an allegation, a target company cannot be punished.

He also said that no company will be blacklisted in entirety. If there is proven wrongdoing, only that unit of a global giant will be punished which has indulged in it.

Rao Inderjit Singh said that he was sure that in the coming months, India will see big investments in defence manufacturing, which will help create jobs and strengthen the economy also.