Marriage between PSUs, private sector must for progress: Raju

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Bangalore, Oct 16 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju today said the marriage between public and private sectors was the need of the hour for integration in defence production.

Talking to newspersons here, he said the private sector was playing an integration role and combining their efforts would lead to the real value addition.

''Another reason why private sector needs to be encouraged was to overcome the delay in supply by the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to defence forces'', he added.

Mr Raju said in the 11-Plan period, Rs 40,000 crore had been earmarked for Defence production and in this year's budget, Rs 106,000 was allocated for three defence-forces in the country.

Replying to a question about procuring 126 Jet aircrafts, the minister said the process was facilitated for evolution and a decision would be taken after studying the technical and other aspects of evolutions.

''I cannot tell you how soon decision will be taken, but the Ministry is seized of the matter,'' he added.

About Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) on Defence production, he said 26 per cent has been permitted now and the Ministry would welcome an additional increase. Modernisation had taken rapid stride and Industry was also responding swiftly, he added.

Mr Raju said a task force had been set up with academicians and private kindustries to advise the Ministry about the technology upgradation in the world and all the three forces would be apprised regularly.

The Minister said the process began on the direction of Chief of Defence Forces. It has been circulated to all the political parties and their reply was yet to be received, he added.

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