Wednesday 24 April 2019, 05:48 PM
Don t restrict us in defence manufacturing space, private players say
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 10/23/2015 12:00:00 AM

New Delhi: The Indian government has identified six areas that private companies can bid for in the defence manufacturing space under the Make in India drive -- which means replacement of the usual system of tenders and lowest bids -- but stakeholders are upset that they can t participate in more than one sector Punj Lloyd spokesperson for defence Ashok Wadhawan, President - Manufacturing, echoed the general feeling in the industry when he said: "Our recommendation to the task force (constituted to identify the private players) is that instead of identifying a few companies per sector, the government should form consortiums and award them orders."

The six sectors identified are aircraft and their major systems; warships of stated displacements, submarines and their major systems; armoured fighting vehicles and their major systems: complex weapons that rely on guidance systems; Command and Control System and critical materials (special alloys and composites).

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said in early September that a task force had been constituted under former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V.K. Aatre to identify the private players to be permitted into the defence sector. He said it was expected to give its report by month-end. Parrikar also said there would not be any repetition of players in the six areas.

"There won t be repetition. If X group has been taken in as a strategic partner in one segment, it will not be considered for another segment. It can participate in partnership for other products," Parrikar had said. The deadline for submitting the report has passed and enquiries reveal that it is nowhere near completion.

And, it is on the basis of this report that the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), which will detail the nuts and bolts of the methodology to be adopted for involving the private sector, was to be drawn up. "This is not likely to happen before the first quarter of 2016, which means the earliest the private sector can get involved is mid-to-late 2016," a defence ministry source told IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity, given the sensitive nature of the subject.

Even so, all does not appear to be lost as the coming together of 60 of the best-known defence companies operating in India, both domestic and foreign, could signal the end in its present form of the DRDO, whose roots go back nearly six decades but which has little of substance to show by way of original products. With defence offsets obligations of Rs. 25,000 crore.

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Don t restrict us in defence manufacturing space, private players say

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