The United Progressive Alliance government is all set to announce its first ever defence production policy and a revised procurement policy which will favour Indian companies over imports.
"We hope to introduce the new Defence Production Policy as well as the Defence Procurement Policy from January 20100. We are going to take some drastic steps to achieve our goal of speedy indigenisation," Defence Minister A K Antony announced in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Antony envisaged a strong defence industrial base for India, saying the country cannot depend indefinitely on the foreign suppliers. At the moment, India imports about 70 per cent of its defence equipment.
Since the public sector undertakings (PSUs) are not able to meet the defence forces' requirements, the government is formulating a new policy, Abntony said, exhorting the public sector units to compete with their private counterparts to realise the dream of "Buy Indian, Make Indian" which he claimed would be the major component of the new procurement policy.
That will help us to have a strong defence industrial base in India," Antony
"There is no option, but to remain globally competitive and efficient and not rest on past laurels, or achievements, Antony said. He also stressed the need for R&D and constant coordination between the DRDO and the Industry Partners.
"A growing nation like India, a nation aspiring for the membership of the Security Council, a place on the high table of the nations, still depending heavily on foreign countries for supply of defence equipments is not good for us," he added.
Minister of State for Defence, MM Pallam Raju flagged the concern of timely delivery and uneven delays in the projects. "Timely delivery of the products is an area of concern which we are not able to meet for various reasons", he said.
During the financial year 2009-10, the 40 ordnance factories produced wide range of weapons and defence hardware amounting to Rs 8,751 crores while the total value of production by the nine defence PSUs was Rs 28,703 crores.