Free Press Journal

Govt mulling to set up body to help domestic defence cos to find markets


New Delhi: With focus on Make in India, the government is “seriously considering” setting up of a promotional body to help domestic companies manufacturing defence products to find investors and markets, a top official in Ministry of Defence said today.

The government is also streamlining its ‘make policy’ in order to start at least 8-10 projects every year to see that process of most of the products is indigenised, Mohan Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) said.

“The make policy is under change, it is being streamlined and it is one of our agenda in Make in India that at least 8-10 make projects will be started every year,” he said, adding, that he was sure defence production and development will attain a critical volume which would be able to carry the industry forward.

“The Ministry of Defence is also seriously considering the setting up of a promotional body which would be able to assess the producers not only in bringing investments but also in finding markets,” Kumar said while addressing a seminar organised by ASSOCHAM.

Stressing upon the growing need for indigenisation in the defence sector, Kumar said, “In the current situation, indigenisation has become very important as we cannot have a defence system which is depending on imports all the time, we need to reduce imports and we have to get more and more into indigenisation.”

“This will call for technology,” he said while talking about the huge technological barriers in this regard.

On providing a level playing field to the private sector, Kumar said that as far as fiscal or taxation measures are concerned, the Ministry is trying its best to see that a level playing field is being provided to the private sector.

On the issue of significant role of private sector in developing a robust defence sector, he said that apart from a few large industrial houses and well-known industries which are in the defence sector, the small and medium industries have not been able to make much headway.

“We have a very bulky procedural volume i.e. the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and this is my dream to see that this procedure is reduced to 25-30 pages instead of hundreds of pages.

“You should try to see that the volume of procedures are reduced and streamlined so that there is predictability about what we are doing,” he said.

Kumar also said that there is a need to instill confidence amid public sector undertakings like the DPSUs and the Ordnance Factory Board to compete together with the private sector for winning a contract. “There appears to be some problem in this area and we are addressing the same.”

He said that the procedures followed by the Ordnance factories or DPSUs call for a paradigm shift as they need to have an environment in which they can have long-term partnership with the industry.