New Delhi: The Commerce and Industry Ministry has cleared 16 defence licence proposals with investments worth Rs 613 crore, a move aimed at boosting defence manufacturing in the country.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which comes under the Commerce and Industry Ministry, has so far issued 73 industrial licences in the defence sector in the last one year (since June 2014), against 50 licence granted during 2011 to May 2014, the ministry said in a statement.
"These (73) include 16 proposals with proposed investment of Rs 613 crore, cleared in recent licensing committee meeting," it said.
The proposals cleared in last meeting, held on June 10, included applications from major players like Pipavav, Tata's, Samtel Thales, Solar Industries, Titagarh, Wagons and Premier Explosives.
"Many of these proposals were pending with the government for last several years," it added.
It said the approved licences are for manufacture of various kinds of arms and ammunition such as helicopters, aircraft, radars, bullet proof jackets, bullet proof helmets, ammunition fired from artillery, tanks, rockets and missiles, mortar bombs, grenades, vessels of war, electronic war-fare systems, night vision devices, howitzers, armoured vehicles and UAVs.
Further, it said the government had increased the initial validity period of industrial licence for defence sector to seven years from earlier three years, further extendable up to three years, in view of the long gestation period of defence contracts to mature.
The government now expects that these measures will give a boost to the private participation in the vast opportunities available for defence manufacturing in India, it added.