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'Self reliance' in defence sector must for country's internal security: Rajnath

Source: PTI
December 14, 2016 17:33 IST
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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday batted for promotion of defence production in the country, holding its absence under previous governments as the reason behind "spike" in corruption in defence deals.

Pitching for incentives in defence manufacturing, Singh said foreign companies are not only interested in investing in India but also ready to transfer technologies.

"Earlier, defence production was not promoted the way it should have been. Although governments may have had the intention to do so, they did not succeed.

"Due to this, instead of competitiveness, corruption spiked in defence orders. You may have come across allegations in the media. This government has taken many steps to increase competitiveness and transparency in this sector," he said.

Speaking at an ASSOCHAM event in New Delhi, Singh said "self reliance" was a must towards ensuring "foolproof" internal security of a country while underlining the need to reduce dependency on other countries, especially in the defence sector.

"Israeli and Chinese companies seek to come to India and make investment for the purpose of defence production. They are not only ready to make investment and production, but also ready to even transfer technology to India if needed.

"We should consider giving more incentives in manufacturing in defence sector," Singh said at the event on 'Defence Production'.

"As far as the question of purchasing defence equipment is concerned, I can say that decisions to purchase defence equipment are now being taken fast as compared to past and their implementation is also ensured. If we can make 'Mangalyaan' in a fraction of cost, then why should we depend on import on other nations," Singh said.

He said that India was emerging as a global hub in research and development as well, especially in manufacturing and engineering R&D through 'Make in India' initiative.

"Even in defence sector, indigenous defence production has been encouraged through 'Make in India' and the government wants to take it forward," Singh said.

"Securing internal and external security of a country cannot be imagined unless it becomes self-reliant. Even if a country is not fully self-reliant, it will have to make sure that its dependence on other nations should be less," the minister said.

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