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Parrikar holds discussions with industry representatives on strategic partnership

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister of India Manohar Parrikar on Saturday held discussions with industry representatives who presented their concerns and recommendations on strategic partnerships that the Government plans to enter with private firms in critical sectors of defence manufacturing.

Parrikar met with the five-sub groups that were set up to have a focused discussion on the subject.

They gave their presentations before the Minister and the Ministry will now study the recommendations in detail before going in for more meetings, defence sources said.

The five sub-groups are focused on armoured fighting vehicles (AFV), aircraft and helicopters, submarines, ammunition and macro process management of issues.

Former DRDO chief V K Aatre had earlier this year submitted a report to the Defence Ministry recommending guidelines for selecting domestic private firms for strategic partnership.

However, Indian private defence industry is divided over the issue with some big players batting for it while others pushing to delay it by at least next five years.

Parrikar has already held a round of talks with the industry chambers over the issue.

The feeling among several private industry players is that only the big firms will benefit out of this move.

However, many large firms are not open to the idea since they feel they would be restricted to just specific fields and, therefore, their overall investment and plans will get affected.

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