India's Maiden Defense Production Policy To Involve Private Players
India will unveil on Thursday its maiden Defence Production Policy that will lay stress on reducing dependence on imports and enhancing domestic arms manufacturing base by allowing private sector for the first time to engage in research and development in the field.
The DPP, which will be released by Defence Minister A K Antony, states that only those systems and platforms would be imported which can't be developed indigenously in specified time frames and are essential for meeting the critical requirements of armed forces.
Under the policy, private sector will have an enhanced role in defence manufacturing and research and development, which so far has been the domain of public sector only.
With the new policy, the Government aims to develop a strong domestic defence-industrial base to ensure that the country's strategic autonomy is not circumscribed, defence ministry officials said.
It will also help in creating employment, they added.
The policy, which was finalised in December last year, has already been cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
The policy states that futuristic weapon systems required in next eight to ten years would be specified and would be developed within the country after designated committees analyse the long-term integrated perspective plans of the armed forces.
These committees will include representatives from the ministry, armed forces, DRDO and will also organise partnerships between academia and industry.
The policy also states that the government would give preference to indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment, which would come from both the Public and Private sector.
The defence sector was opened up in 2001-2002 to 100 per cent private investment and 26 per cent foreign direct investment was also allowed but this has not yet produced the desired results.
Announcing a major policy change last week, the Ministry had come up with its new Defence Procurement Policy, which expanded the scope of defence offsets to civil aerospace and internal security industry.
The less-than-expected output by DRDO, defence PSUs and 39 ordnance factories has meant that India still imports over 70 per cent of its military requirements.
India is one of the largest importers of military hardware and post-Kargil war, it has inked arms deals worth over USD 50 billion since the 1999 Kargil con.