Under UPA, "Policy Paralysis Hampered Defence Preparedness", Says PM

Under UPA,

Reiterating that his government had resolved the issues that had not been addressed by previous governments, he said, "The country would have seen how the issue of providing bullet-proof jackets to Indian Army soldiers was kept hanging for years".

The four-day DefExpo India, whose theme is "Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub" is a biennial exercise aimed at establishing Brand India and highlighting the manufacturing capabilities of the country's public and private sectors. "I call upon all of you to actively participate in this exercise", he said. "More than 40 countries have sent their official delegations as well", says PM Modi.

Major stakeholders, including foreign and domestic firms, will be consulted on the defence production and procurement policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, asserting that the government was attempting to give a major push to military manufacturing in India. While formally inaugurating the 10th edition of the Defence Expo - DefExpo 2018 - at Thiruvidandai near Chennai on Monday, PM Modi said that different aspects of governance, such as laziness, incompetence and perhaps some hidden motive can cause damage to the nation. Decision to form two Defence Corridors at Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will enhance the involvement of MSMEs of both states which will increase the GDP, he added.

The Prime Minister said he was conscious that defence manufacturing needed government involvement at many stages.

He said government will undertake extensive consultations with all stakeholders about India's defence production and defence procurement policy space for the objective. "Not now, not anymore, never", he said.

The government last week began the process to procure around 110 fighter jets by issuing an RFI (Request for Information) or initial tender.

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"We will work with you with a sense of mission to keep our defence forces equipped with state-of-the-art systems, and to create the necessary domestic manufacturing ecosystem to achieve this".

"We know that a lot needs to be done, and many pieces of this puzzle need to fit together", the prime minister said. "But, we do not want to take short cuts".

Quoting figures to bolster his arguments, Mr. Modi said in May 2014, the total number of defence export permission granted stood at 118, for a total value of 577 million dollars. Addressing the gathering after launching the iDex scheme, a scheme to support innovations and newer manufacturers in the Defence sector, Modi said his government is committed to equip the armed forces. Products including 100 Mbps radio relay equipment, which provides reliable and secure telecommunication link in a hostile electronic warfare environment and a secure military wireless LAN were launched. "The corridors will become engines of economic development and growth of defense industrial base", he said.

Modi said defence products list for the objective of issuing licences has been revised to reduce entry barriers for the industry, especially for the small and medium enterprises.

"Offset guidelines have been made flexible by allowing changes of Indian Offset Partners and offset components, even in contracts already signed".

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