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Private sector share in defence output to grow significantly: Baba Kalyani

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Apr 10, 2018

Baba Kalyani, President, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, at a press conference in Chennai

With the removal of hurdles through favourable policy framework, better transparency and clearly defined milestones, the private sector's share in defence production will grow significantly in the coming years, according to Baba Kalyani, President, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).

Presently, about 95 per cent of defence production in the country happens through public sector organisations. In this, some portion is also outsourced to private sector. However, the share of the private sector in production of defence equipment is expected to increase.

“A very a large part of the incremental growth in defence production will come from the private sector in the coming years. This growth will also come by private sector playing a developmental role with organisations such as DRDO,” he said, while addressing the media on the eve of Defexpo 2018, to be held during April 11-14 near Chennai.

Elaborating on the problems faced by DRDO on commercialisation of its technologies, he said the DRDO was having some of the finest and top-notch engineering and scientific talent, but not in manufacturing.

“They are good designers and engineers, but they are neither production agencies nor the manufacturing people. Here, the private sector has far greater expertise and talent pool for manufacturing in any sector. Therefore, it’s going to be natural that a large part of defence manufacturing will move towards the private sector,” he said.

“The Defence Minister also wants India to emerge as an exporter of defence products. There are a lot of products in defence that can be exported from India. Like auto and auto component industry, Indian private sector can also become an exporter of defence products like guns, metal parts and even tanks,” he asserted.

The draft note of the Defence Production Policy 2018 has set an objective of India achieving defence goods and services exports of ₹35,000 crore by 2025 from the current level of about ₹1,950 crore, said Lt Gen Subrata Saha, Director General, SIDM.

Lauding some of the recent government measures, Kalyani pointed out that for the first time the government had indicated that they would not withdraw an RFP (request for proposal) once it’s floated.

“If you look at the history of last 20 years, about 70 per cent RFPs have been withdrawn at some stages or the other. Many times they are withdrawn due to obsolescence resulting from a new technology,” he said .

Published on April 10, 2018
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