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Antony inaugurates Defexpo 2012

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony lighting the lamp at the inuaguration ceremony at Defexpo 2012. A Brahmand photo.

New Delhi (PTI): Defence Minister A K Antony Thursday said that expenditure on defence is bound to increase as the armed forces need to have access to the latest technologies and equipment to counter any threat.

"With the projected growth of the Indian economy expected at a trajectory of 8-10 per cent for the next two decades, expenditure on defence in absolute terms is bound to increase," Antony said inaugurating the seventh edition of International Land and Naval Defence Systems Exhibition- Defexpo-12, here.

Observing that the defence allocation has been consistent with the country's needs, he said, "India's defence expenditure in the recent past has been around two per cent of the GDP, which has been consistent with our security needs as well as our requirement."

Underlining the need for indigenisation, he said the emphasis is on the need for public-private sector partnership in the defence industry.

"Enabling policy framework has been put in place to develop indigenous capabilities through harnessing the potential and utilising resources available both in public and private sector," he added.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the government is in the process of finalising a long term integrated policy of the armed forces.

"Consequent to its finalisation, a public version of the document outlining the Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap of the armed forces covering a period of 15 years will be published to enable domestic industry to plan investment in the defence sector and take up research and development activity," Raju said.

Underlining that lack of information regarding defence requirement has been one the major impediments in the growth of defence industry, Raju said, "It is now mandatory under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) to issue Request for Information (RFI) in all acquisition cases."

On Defence Offset Policy, the Defence Minister said that, "Review of the Defence Offset Policy is being undertaken and further changes are expected in due course.

"We have been periodically reviewing the Defence Procurement Procedures to usher in greater transparency and speed in the defence acquisition process," he added.

The Defence industry is open to 100 per cent investment by Indian private industry, while Foreign Direct Investment is allowed up to 26 per cent.

The four day-long exhibition will see participation of 58 official delegation including 18 ministerial delegations.

Started in 1999, the expo is going to be the biggest ever with the participants booking an area over 30,760 square meters to display their products.

Besides some of the major participants such as Russia, France and Israel, USA, UK, Italy, Singapore, Canada and Germany, China is also sending a delegation in the exhibition.


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