Indian Defence Industry is poised to witness major policy changes. Disclosing this at a function after presenting the Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence for the Year 2008-09 to Ordinance Factories (OFs) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), here today the Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony said the first ever Defence Production Policy would be unveiled soon and major changes incorporated in the Defence Procurement Policy.
"2011 January onwards we hope to introduce the new Defence Production Policy as well as the Defence Procurement Policy. So now we are going to take some more drastic steps to achieve our goal of speedy indigenization," Shri Antony said.
"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 the equipments are imported, we have to reverse this trend. So we will continue to support the PSUs, but at the same time PSUs alone will not be able to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces. So now we are formulating a new policy.
"Earlier we took a decision (that) hereafter no more nominations to the shipyards, nomination basis. 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.' … so they will have to compete… So 'Buy Indian and Make Indian' is going to be the major component of our procurement policy. That will help us to have a strong defence industrial base in India," he added.
The Defence Minister said that there is plenty of space and opportunity for the public and the private sector to coexist and thrive. Assuring the DPSUs and OFs all out financial support for their modernization plans, Shri Antony said that they should be vigorously prepared to face competition from the Indian private sector from next year.
“There is no option, but to remain globally competitive and efficient and not rest on past laurels, or achievements,” Shri Antony said. “Both the Defence PSUs and the private sector must carve out respective niches for themselves, by developing their own fields of specialization. These specializations must complement each other’s efforts and thus generate an even more healthier and competitive environment,” he added.
The Defence Minister also stressed on the need for R&D and constant coordination between the DRDO and the Industry Partners. "A growing nation like India, a nation aspiring for the membership of the Security Council, a place on the high table of the nations still depending heavily on foreign countries for supply of defence equipments is not good for us," he added.
Commending the Ordnance Factories and DPSUs for the significant improvement in recent months, the Defence Minister said that it must lead to a further refining and development of technical skills and reliability," he said.
Speaking on the occasion the Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju stressed on the need for the DPSUs and OFs to remain cost competitive while delivering quality standards and maintaining consistency. "Timely delivery of the products is an area of concern which we are not able to meet for various reasons", Shri Pallam Raju said. "We should strive hard in ensuring adherence to delivery schedules so that our Defence PSUs and OFs will also emerge as reliable global players in the field of Defence Production", he added.