‘Efforts on to reduce dependence on foreign defense equipment’

'Efforts on to reduce dependence on foreign defence equipment'NEW DELHI: With 40 per cent of defense procurement still coming from abroad, government today said it is working to boost indigenous manufacturing capacity to reduce dependence on foreign supplies.

Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar also informed the Lok Sabha that it would not be economical to manufacture certain defense equipment items.

During the Question Hour, the Minister said steps have been taken to reduce the dependence on imports for defense equipment as well to have a proper infrastructure that would help in starting to export such equipment in the future.

He also said export of defense equipment would increase over a period of time.

The total defense procurement was worth Rs 93,216.93 crore in 2013-14. Foreign procurement stood at Rs 38,202.66 crore, making for about 40 per cent of the total.

Out of the total, Rs 55,014.27 crore or 59 per cent of the procurement came from indigenous sources.

In 2012-13, indigenous sources accounted for nearly 64 per cent of the total defense procurement which had touched Rs 83,090.18 crore.

At that time, procurement worth Rs 52,719.38 crore was from indigenous sources while foreign part was to the tune of Rs 30,370.80 crore.

Last financial year (2013-14), the United States remained the largest foreign supplier of defense equipment with procurement worth Rs 13,441.99 crore.

The US was followed by Russia (Rs 11,625 crore), France (Rs 4,575.32 crore) and Israel (Rs 1,234.65 crore).

According to Parrikar, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and defense public sector undertakings have been asked to increase procurement of indigenous content.

Responding to a query on intellectual property rights related to indigenous manufacturing of defense equipment, Parrikar said foreign parts “cannot be made by way of Jugaad (managed) or some other way”.

The Defense Production Policy, promulgated in 2011, aims at achieving self-reliance in the design, development and production of equipment, weapon systems and create conducive conditions for the private industry to play an active role in this regard. To promote private sector participation in indigenous production of defense equipment, various steps have been taken including revision in list of defense products for the purpose of industrial licensing, Parrikar said.

He said all defense equipment being procured goes through extensive field evaluation trials before being contracted.

“Post contract, an institutionalized system of Pre Dispatch Inspection (PDI) and Joint Receipt Inspection (JRI) exist for ensuring that defect and reliability issues are restricted to the bare minimum,” he noted.–PTI

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