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Conflict of interest in the defence ministry: L&T CMD to Dr Manmohan Singh

Last updated on: March 8, 2011 18:58 IST

Conflict of interest in the defence ministry: L&T CMD to Dr Manmohan Singh

There is conflict of interest in the way the defence ministry is organised, chairman of India's biggest infrastructure company L&T, Anil Manibhai Naik, has written in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"There is a conflict of interest... I have given (written) a big write-up just now to the PM (saying that) there is a conflict of interest in which the defence ministry is organised," Naik said replying to a question from the audience about the failures in his life and their impact on him.

Naik was speaking at the release of Change Maestros, a book by Dr Pritam Singh and Asha Bhandarker that charts the successes of seven Indian corporates including L&T's A M Naik.

"... defence (ministry) is the only place where defence production as well as equipping our own armed forces are in one ministry," Naik said referring to the conflicting interest.

He castigated the defence ministry for not coming out with even a single conventional submarine in the last 15 years, because of which, Naik said the gap between India and China has widened considerably.

"And the defence production (ministry) joint secretaries and secretaries of the defence ministry are on the boards of all public sector -- sickest of sick units you can think of who cannot take out one conventional submarine out for 15 years now with the result that the gap is widening between us and China and bulk of the time we resort to imports out of no choice," Naik lamented.

"The whole (defence) industry which could have really flowered around very high technological development and taken India to the next and the next level of technological achievement and excellence is not happening," he said.

He, however, said that as of today he may have failed in his endeavour to make India a strong nation but he said he still had hope.

"Now, all my five year efforts has not produced any results so to an extent I can say that I am a failure but I still have a ray of hope..."

He said he has raised one simple question in almost all the corridors of power and asked them what comes first: the honourable existence and sovereignty of our country or constantly feeding the sick public sector units at the great cost to the weakening India's defence and borders and deaths of lots and lots of our soldiers wherever there is a conflict.

He said his failure lies in the fact that he couldn't change the mindset of the (defence) ministry.

Image: Video: L and T CMD A M Naik