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Indian private shipyards may build warships

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KOLKATA (PTI): The Indian Defence Ministry may allow private shipyards to build warships and other vessels to meet the growing demand of the Navy and the Coast Guard.

"There is a lot of demand in warship building from the Navy and Coast Guard and parallel, a lot of demand for all kinds of other vessels. As a result, private shipyards also have substantial orders. In the coming years, private shipyards will try to secure orders for warship construction also," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said on Tuesday.

He said as part of strengthening the coastal security system, a lot of fast craft and other vessels were needed by marine police stations and Coast Guards for patrolling.

"Because of the large demand, some of these orders have flown to private shipyards," he told newspersons after the launch of the second anti-submarine warfare corvette 'Kadmatt' at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) here.

While stressing the importance for defence PSUs to increase efficiency to brace for the competition from private shipyards, Raju said building warships was a 'complex' process and in this, the GRSE and the other defence shipyards had a lead over private players.

"If they maintain that lead through their efficiency and by adopting modern practises, I am sure that they will secure most of the orders (for warships)," he said.

Raju, who yesterday launched the GRSE's Rs 20 crore Enterprise Resources Planning programme, said the modernisation work of PSUs was expected to be completed next year as scheduled.

"With this, the GRSE should double its production capacity. Doubling of capacity should enable GRSE to build ships of higher tonnage. GRSE has already come a long way in terms of maturing to build very complex ships," he said.

Orders for a number of vessels of the Project 17-Alpha series, along with 'a lot' of fast attack craft and landing craft utility vessels used by the Navy were in the pipeline for the GRSE, Raju said.

In reply to a question, Raju ruled out permanent employment for contractual workers in the GRSE.

"The order book varies from time to time. So a lot of labour has to be taken contractually depending on the workload. It is difficult to take everyone on a permanent basis. That is the way shipyards operate and most PSUs also operate. The important thing is to make sure that they get adequate wages and good working conditions," Raju said.

Noting that the GRSE management was making continuous effort to procure more orders, he said, there would be adequate work for the PSU in the coming years.

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India  Navy  Warships  
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