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'Strategic Materials Policy' to be announced soon: Parrikar

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MUMBAI (PTI): A new strategic materials policy that can promote production as well as storage of defense-related strategic materials will be announced soon, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

Parrikar also said the government is working on "Design in India" policy which will aim at building, enhancing and promoting designing capabilities of Indian manufacturers and entrepreneurs so that they can design products of world-class standards to compete with global counterparts and take advantage of "Make in India" programme.

"The government is set to introduce 'Strategic Materials Policy' soon," Parrikar said on Tuesday inaugurating a three-day International Conference & Exhibition on Reinforced Plastics, 2017 (ICERP 2017) here.

"The new Strategic Materials Policy can promote production as well as storage of defence-related strategic materials. The Ministry had detailed discussions on the policy," he added.

The conference is organised by FRP Institute, an association of Indian Reinforced Plastics or Composites sector.

The Minister also assured the delegates at the conference that the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) will soon include composite products developed indigenously.

He was responding to a long standing demand of Indian composites industry to source defence equipments, components and ancillary material domestically from Indian manufacturers of composite products and extend support under the 'Make in India' programme.

Parrikar also said the DPP will be updated soon.

"The domestic manufacturers needs to enhance designing capabilities to compete with global standards. As far as the defence industry is concerned, there is huge potential to source material, equipments domestically, but quality standards and innovations in designing are highly essential."

According to him, Indian composites industry can certainly enhance supplies to the defence sector if they provide products of global standards in terms of quality and designing.

"We will soon include composites products in the DPP, which will allow domestic composites manufacturers to supply to Indian Defence Industry," Parrikar added.

The Rs 5,000 crore composites industry had made a strong pitch for support from the government.

Pradip Thakkar, Chairman of FRP, urged the Defence Minister to extend the government's support to the Indian composites industry to unleash its full potential.

"The Indian composites industry is fully capable of supplying 100 per cent of requirements of the defence sector, if given due support. Composite materials are emerging as an innovative alternative for steel and aluminium and hence, can be used in defence equipment manufacturing," he said.

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