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India to be 70% self-reliant in defence by 2020
August 28, 2005 21:23 IST
The Centre is targeting to attain 70 per cent self-reliance in defence by 2020, Defence Financial Adviser (Acquisition) Sheela Bhide.
The centre is working towards gradually bringing down the import content in the defence sector.
Bhide said that a committee has been set up for this purpose and it will be giving its recommendations on this front.
"Besides, we are finalising a five-year long-term plan regarding procurements in the defence sector, which we will be making public to encourage transparency," Bhide added.
"We are also working on a product strategy where we are short-listing defence products that can be developed with private participation," she added.
"Today, we are among the top ten spenders in the world in defence and the third largest importer of military hardware. In many countries, defence is the driver of industrial growth. We hope that India also has the same experience," Bhide said, adding that there have been enquiries from the international arena for helicopters developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory Prahlada said that SMEs have been doing extremely well in the last few decades. He, however, suggested that they should form consortiums to share skills and resources.