India's new defence production policy to end dependence on foreign arms suppliers (Re-issue)

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (ANI): To become self reliant in the production of defence equipment, weapon systems and platforms, and to reduce its dependence on foreign arms manufacturers, India on Thursday unveiled its first ever Defence Production Policy (DPrP).

Defence Minister A K Antony unveiled the DPrP, which also aims at creating conditions conducive for private industries to play an active role in achieving the objective.

The DPrP will act as a catalyst to enhance the potential of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for indigenisation as also for broadening India's defence research and development base. ntony said: "The policy aims to achieve maximum synergy among the armed forces, defence public sector undertakings, Indian industry and research and development institutions."

He further said: "We will protect and strengthen public-sector undertakings," and added those companies, however, can't meet India's needs and as a result the private sector will be offered "more and more a level playing field."

"PSUs alone will not be able to meet the requirements of the armed forces indigenously. In India we must have strong defence industrial base combining PSUs and private sector. India must reduce its dependence on foreign companies," Antony emphasized.

Under the new Defence Production Policy, coming into force with immediate effect, preference will be given to indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment.

Therefore, 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.

Based on the approved Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), equipment, weapon system and platforms required ten years and further down the line will by and large be developed within the country. Sub-systems that are not economically viable or practical to be made within the country may be imported, ensuring their availability at all times.

"Policies will also be put in place to encourage the DPSUs, OFB and the private sector to strengthen their research and development wings so that constant upgrading and improvement in systems under manufacture is possible," Antony said.

India has a strong industrial base, and eight state-owned companies and nearly 40 ordnance factories dominate the defense sector.

India, which has the 10th-largest military budget in the world, has so far failed to reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers. By Praful Kumar Singh(ANI)

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