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Home > India > News > PTI

Defence deals will be transparent and user-friendly: Antony

February 16, 2008 12:33 IST

Policies and procedures governing defence procurement and offset are currently undergoing a review to make them more transparent and user-friendly, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Saturday.

"We have been fine-tuning and improving the Defence procurement Procedure based on periodical reviews," he said while inaugurating the 5th International Land and Naval Systems Exhibition in New Delhi.

"The current procurement procedure is also under review to make it more transparent and user-friendly," Antony said.

Observing that the government was only the purchaser of defence goods in India, the Minister said it was imperative that particular requirements, administrative procedures and defence policies should impact on production decisions taken by private companies.

"For our defence industry to expand and to be able to meet critical technological requirements of armed forces, there is need for far greater synergy between private players and the government," Antony said.

Regarding the Defence Offset Policy, the Minister said it was "at a nascent stage and still evolving".

Deliberations were going on with regard to some important issues like banking of offset credits, transfer of technology and licensing requirement for software industry, which were of concern to both foreign and Indian industry, he said.

"We will, in the near future, take appropriate decisions after getting inputs from all stakeholders. I am sure the discharge of offsets under the policy will give necessary fillip to private sector participation in a big way a long time to come," Antony said.

Since the Indian defence industry was opened up to 100 per cent participation in 2001, many private companies have entered into defence production, Antony said. Large, small and medium firms have been supplying defence items, he said.

"The growing scale of Indian industry and its increasing competitiveness and capability will gradually transform its role from supplier of sub-systems to system integrator," the Minister said.

Maintaining that India had developed substantial capabilities in land, naval and air systems, Antony said the DefExpo-2008 would showcase "our ability to design, develop and deliver a wide range of military and civil products and services to meet our customers' stringent specifications at most competitive prices."

"We learn from each other in the field of critical defence technology and wish to enter into mutually beneficial arrangements with friendly countries. We do need the support of the best in the world in our endeavour to modernise our armed forces," the minister said.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, Defence Secretary Vijai Singh and Defence Production Secretary Pradeep Kumar.

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