India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh has called for more indigenous firms to take part in military procurement.
In a speech Singh spoke of a Technology Development Fund that had been set up to promote self-reliance in defence technology, as part of the wider Make In India initiative.
Speaking at a seminar on modernisation and indigenisation of the Indian Air Force in New Delhi, Singh said: “The scheme will encourage participation of public/private industries, especially MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises], so as to create an ecosystem for enhancing cutting edge technology capability for defence application.”
He also urged foreign manufacturers to build factories in India, adding incentives were available through FDI and joint ventures.
Singh said test facilities used by government entities would be made available to the private sector to help firms meet quality standards.
He emphasised that outsourcing and vendor development guidelines were available to the public sector promote the participation of the private sector.
Meanwhile Anil Manibhai Naik, group chairman of engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro, has said the Make In India initiative has failed to create enough jobs because firms still prefer to import goods rather than manufacture them locally.
“The prime minister’s Make In India programme, which is spoken about a lot, has to do a lot more. We are exporting jobs now instead of exporting goods,” he told Live Mint.
“We have to find answers as to why most Indian companies are keen to import rather than manufacture here.”
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.