The government has stressed the need for revitalising defence PSUs and ordnance factories for meeting needs of ammunition for the defence forces.
The government has stressed the need for revitalising defence PSUs and ordnance factories for meeting needs of ammunition for the defence forces. In her inaugural address at Ammo India 2018, the first international conference on military ammunition, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The managements of these organisations need to be ahead of the curve and show dynamism, as they possess immense and valuable assets that could offer manufacturers huge production opportunities.” The theme of the conference is : Make in India – opportunities and challenges. The event is being organised by FICCI and the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) under the Ministry of Defence. The government has opened up private investment in defence production, including liberalisation of foreign direct investment. It has initiated steps to develop two defence industrial production corridors in the country and also proposes to bring out an industry-friendly defence production policy 2018 to promote domestic production by the public sector, the private sector and MSMEs. The defence ministry was encouraged by the quantum of the outsourced component in defence manufacturing, which had risen to 29% in 2016-17. Tier-I Indian companies were up to their task and also serve as an assurance to SMEs that their products would be sourced by big companies. It was in this context that the announcement was made in the 2018-19 Budget that two defence industrial production corridors would be established, Sitharaman said. “The one between Chennai and Bengaluru via a stretch of ordnance factories was coming up well and it was encouraging that SMEs had started to bring in start-ups to produce for the armed forces. Coordination between the DIPP and the home ministry was being actively pursued and this should give comfort to OEMs that different arms of the government were engaged in an effort. The government was also actively working on the Aligarh-Agra-Jhansi-Chitrakoot-Kanpur-Lucknow corridor,” the minister said.