Government seeks greater private role in defence manufacturing

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The government Monday reiterated that it sought a greater role for the private sector in the defence manufacturing sector but this would not be at the cost of the public sector.

‘We want the private sector to play a more prominent role in the defence sector. We are revising our Defence Procurement Policy. Our aim is to motivate private companies to invest more financial and human resource in R&D,’ Defence Minister A.K. Antony said while addressing the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) directors’ conference here.

‘However, any increased role for the private sector will not be allowed at the cost of the public sector,’ he said, adding: ‘We want the public sector and the private sector to prosper mutually and not in isolation of each other.’

He also noted that there can be no compromise on transparency and fairness in defence dealings.

Saying that the government was committed towards achieving self-reliance in the production of weapons systems, Antony added: ‘We cannot continue to be eternally dependent on imports to meet our requirements.’

‘Innovative thinking, particularly in R&D is a must, if DRDO is to meet its mandate of providing the world’s best equipment for our armed forces. For this, DRDO will have to become a forward-looking and a receptive organisation and not remain rooted to old mindsets,’ the minister contended.

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