New policy to hasten defence deals, ensure transparency: Antony

July 22nd, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, July 22 (ANI):The new defence purchase policy envisages a
greater role for the private sector in supplying much needed equipment to
the countrys armed forces, Union Defence Minister A K Antony said this
at International Technology Seminar on Future Infantry Combat Vehicle
and Future Main Battle Tank.
The two-day seminar is being jointly organised by the Confederation of
Indian Industry in association with the Directorate General of Mechanised
Forces.
Addressing the seminar, Antony said It should be our endeavour to
achieve maximum synergy between the Defence, Public and Private
Sectors, in order to create a competitive defence technology edge and
strengthen the industry base in our country.
He further added that the focus of the new rules and procedures in the
defence procurement procedures 2008 (DPP 2008) is on ensuring
speedier procurements of weapons, systems and platforms, while
ensuring transparency. The DPP 2008 will be operative from August 1
and it incorporates the experience of the government and the armed
forces since it was first formulated in 2006.
Antony also said that the new purchase policy would promote
indigenisation and encourage wider representation on panels doing
technical evaluation of indigenously designed military platforms. He said
that collaborative and networked defence R and D can go a long way in
enabling the nation address technology gaps, match global standards
and promote indigenisation.
In his address, Chief of the Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, pointed
out that while technology was critical for any nations defence system,
what was also needed was the need to check any time and procedural
delays. He said that while it was important to stress on indigenisation
and collaborative approach, we should not compromise on our
operational capabilities.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Atul Kirloskar, Chairman, CII National
Committee on Defence and CMD, Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd, urged the
government to speedily notify the private companies being granted the
Raksha Udyog Ratna status. The status would enable these companies
to compete at par with the defence public sector enterprises and the
ordinance factories for defence contracts.
He also emphasised the need for ensuring a level-playing field between
the private and public sector. Noting that the defence sector was going
through an era of technological interdependence, Mr Kirloskar said there
was a need to contain cost and achieve competitiveness. This can be
achieved if more public-private sector partnerships are promoted in the
defence sector. This was specially important considering that India has
been dependent on foreign sources for defence procurement for far too
long, he added.
He also suggested that if a major share of defence purchases and
acquisition could be spent in the country, this would have a multiplier
effect on the overall economic growth and create more employment.
Delivering the theme address, Lt. Gen. Dalip Bhardwaj, Director-General
Mechanised Forces, said that the time was right for greater private
sector involvement in supplying defence equipment. However, the
industry must keep in mind the defence sectors end needs and not just
the technology. According to him what the industry needs to do is to
develop products that have a longer shelf life.
CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee added the seminar aims to
explore opportunities for public-private partnership in the area of design,
development and manufacture of future ICVs and MBTs. It also
endeavours to identify business opportunities related to maintenance
and upgradation of existing defence equipment. Brig KA Hai (retd) gave
the concluding remarks at the seminar, which witnessed participation
from over 120 domestic and international defence companies. (ANI)

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