Defence Minister Nirmala Sithraman told industry leaders at the 90th Annual General Meeting of FICCI that start-ups will get an opportunity to bid equally along with big players. The Defence Minister said, “Even though the Defence sector is now open, we are very clear that the benefits have to reach the SMEs of India.” According to the press release of Defence Ministry, Sitharaman commended FICCI on its 90th AGM which she said comes at a time of transformational changes in India. She said, “FICCI’s 90-year old experience is very vital for the Government which will greatly benefit from it.” She welcomed the role that FICCI was playing as a bridge between the Government and industry. She also said that the inputs and papers from FICCI tell us where the action needs to be taken.
The release said that Defence minister also informed industry that the government was making sure that every private sector investment is on a data pool and the government would benefit from this exercise. “The Defence Minister called for more meaningful engagement with FICCI on start-ups so that this sector gets activated. Under the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund which has been created, eight projects have almost fructified and were about to be sanctioned while close to another 24 projects were in the process of coming through the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund.”
According to release, lauding the valuable work done by her predecessors, Sitharaman said, “her ministry was speeding up many of the decisions taken by them and there was now a lot of activity in the Defence sector. Procurement meetings were being held twice a month along with simplification of processes and the Government was on a mission mode on ensuring greater transparency in Defence with devolution of powers to respective quarters for expeditious delivery.”
The Defence Minister said, “Designing, development and manufacturing by India would have to have speedier traction.” The release said that Sitharaman also told industry that her ministry was also identifying organically grown small scale industrial units producing components for a wide range of Defence needs, from heavy vehicles to aerospace, to engage with them.