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India encouraging global defence companies to set up units: Jaitley

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WASHINGTON (PTI): India is formulating policy to help major global defence companies set up manufacturing units in the country in collaboration with Indian firms, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

"Under our changed policy, we are in the future going to concentrate not merely in buying from the rest of the world, but encouraging global defence majors in collaboration with Indian companies to set up manufacturing units in India," Jaitley said at a reception hosted by India's Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna in Washington on April 22.

Jaitley, who holds the additional charge of the Defence Ministry, said the Union Government has made the initial policy changes while some more are being planned.

"Hopefully in the years to come, the impact of this change as far as defence manufacturing policy is concerned would be visible in India. It is receiving a good response from major manufacturers," Jaitley said without giving any details.

Jaitley was given the additional charge of the Defence Ministry apart from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs after his predecessor Manohar Parrikar was made the Chief Minister of Goa.

Using cricket lingo, he described himself as the "night watchman" for these two ministries.

"One of my principal responsibilities is to look after the finances of the government. There are some additional responsibilities that keep coming," he said.

"In the US you do not have much of cricket. In India it is our favourite game. In the game of cricket, we call it night watchman," he said, referring to his dual role.

"The Prime Minister has asked me to fill in that role in some other departments. But my principal requirement is in finance," Jaitley said.

Jaitley, leading an Indian delegation, arrived in Washington on April 20, to attend the annual Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

In addition to his meetings and presentations at the annual Spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, Jaitley is also scheduled to attend meetings of other multilateral forums including that of the G-20 finance ministers.

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