DRDO should share research with private units: Amit Mitra

Calling for more participation from domestic companies in the defence sector, West Bengal Industries Minister Amit Mitra on Friday urged the DRDO to share its research findings and technology with Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RUR) to promote growth of the private units.

IANS| Last Updated: Nov 28, 2014, 19:17 PM IST

Kolkata: Calling for more participation from domestic companies in the defence sector, West Bengal Industries Minister Amit Mitra on Friday urged the DRDO to share its research findings and technology with Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RUR) to promote growth of the private units.

Pointing out that India is barred from accessing 10 of the 14 technology groups listed for technology transfer, Mitra said the country is equated with Kenya and the situation can only be addressed by empowering indigenous firms.

"Focus has to be on the Make category and we need to see how DRDO research can synergise with the private sector," he said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by Confederation of Indian Industries here.

Mitra said 324 technologies from 48 Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories have been commercialised and are being used for national welfare and projects presently.

"We need to strengthen DPSUs, RURs and the MSME segment first and then reduce imports," he stated.

Among the research findings from DRDO, food technology, mosquito repellant and explosion reduction kit among several others have been commercialised.

Mitra stressed that foreign OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) participating in defence projects enjoy the benefit of exemption from customs duty and corporate business tax returns whereas the domestic players are liable to taxes ranging from excise duty and sales tax to octroi and service tax which is deterring MSME participation in the defence sector.

Under the present norms of 49 percent FDI in defence, Indian domestic companies are estimated to have an offset opportunity of Rs 90,000 crore while offset opportunities worth Rs 22,000 crore have already been rolled out.