New Defence Production Policy focuses on indigenisation

India on Thursday unveiled a new Defence Production Policy (DPrP) which aims to achieve over 50 per cent indigenisation in the next decade and provides a major role to the private sector in defence manufacturing.

New Delhi: India on Thursday unveiled a new
Defence Production Policy (DPrP) which aims to achieve over 50
per cent indigenisation in the next decade and provides a
major role to the private sector in defence manufacturing.

"More than 50 per cent," Defence Minister A K Antony said
when asked about the government`s aim in terms of percentage
in indigenising defence manufacturing through the new policy.
He was speaking after releasing the policy document here.
Aiming to achieve self-reliance in design, development
and production of defence equipment, weapon systems and
platforms, the Government came out with its first DPrP.

"Self reliance is a long dream but we are still far
behind... We need to strengthen our security apparatus in view
of the prevailing security scenario, which is highly volatile
and causes anxiety," he said.

He said dependence on foreign imports for national
security was "unacceptable" and through the new policy, the
government hoped to build a strong defence industrial base in
the country to change the situation.

The Minister said the policy, which will come in with
immediate effect, would create conducive conditions for the
private industries to play an active role to achieve the
objective and also aims to provide them a level-playing field
in the sector.

Antony said from now on, preference will be given to
indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence
equipment coming from both public and private sectors.
"Wherever the required arms, ammunition and equipment are
possible to be made by the Indian industry within the time
lines required by the Services, the procurement will be made
from the indigenous sources," he said.

The Minister said in cases where the Indian industry is
not in a position to make and deliver the equipments in the
requisite time frame, procurement from foreign sources would
be resorted to as per the DPrP.

Based on the approved Long Term Integrated Perspective
Plan (LTIPP), equipment, weapon systems and platforms required
ten years and further down the line will by and large be
developed within the country, Antony said.

However, the new policy allows sub-systems that are not
economically viable or practical to be made within the
country, to be imported and calls for ensuring that they are
available at all times.

To assess the self reliance achieved through the year,
the Defence Minister will hold an annual review of the
progress made.

Under the DPrP, a separate fund will be created to
provide necessary resources to public and private sector as
well as academic and scientific institutions to support
research and development of defence products.
"Our endeavour will be to build a robust indigenous
defence industrial base by proactively encouraging larger
involvement of the Indian private sector in design,
development and manufacturing of defence equipment," he added.

To match the global standards in the defence sector in
terms of price and time lines, the policy also allows the
formation of consortia, joint venture and public private
partnerships within the government approved framework.

It also seeks the involvement of academia, research and
development institutions, technical and scientific
organisations of repute for achieving the objective.

The DPrP has been prepared after consultations with
various stakeholders such as the three Services, Integrated
Defence Staff, DRDO and various chambers of commerce.

Reacting to the new policy, Confederation of Indian
Industries (CII) said, "We appreciate the policy acknowledging
that private sector would have to play a larger role in
defence production. We anticipate that an implementation road
map with benchmarks would be announced sooner."

The other major chamber FICCI said policy-making Defence
Ministry officials should be removed from the boards of
Defence PSUs and they "should be corporatised and publicly
listed to increase their public accountability and bring them
on par with private sector producers."