New Delhi. 09 April 2018. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Defence, Government of India stated that the procurement process for defence equipment was being streamlined and simplified. The Minister was addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Annual Session 2018: Building a Better India Together: Responsible Inclusive & Ahead .
According to the Minister, the Government had changed its approach and was allowing the private sector to approach it with technology that they had developed. The Government would then evaluate the technology and then decide on its adoption. She stated that the Government was asking overseas suppliers of defense equipment to increase the level of indigenisation.
The Minister stated that the government was seeking to set up two corridors – one in Uttar Pradesh and one in Tamil Nadu – for the production of defense equipment in India. The government was also working on a long term plan for the funding of defence purchases to ensure that money that was initially allocated for certain equipment would be available at the time of its acquisition.
In addition, the Minister stated that she was on her way to address a conference of Indian Defence Attaches posted in our missions abroad to brief them about India’s defense manufacturing capabilities and would seek their support in finding export opportunities for these items.
According to the Minister, the Government had adopted a consultative and was working closely with industry bodies like the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers to develop policies.
In his address, Baba Kalyani, President, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Forge Limited stated that India need to adopt a five year target to modernise its defence forces. He was of the view that the government needed to nurture the private sector and develop its capabilities to supply to the Defence forces. In addition, he stated that there was an urgent need for the Defense Research & Development Organisation to quickly operationalise the technologies that it develops so that it does not lose its edge.