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'Def PSUs should invest more money and time in R&D'


NEW DELHI (PTI): Asking public sector units to invest more money in research and development, Defence Minister A K Antony Monday said they should reverse the trend of over-dependence on imports to meet the increasing military hardware requirements of the Armed Forces.

India is looking to spend over USD 100 billion on defence procurements in next five to ten years but depends on foreign countries for around 70 per cent of these requirements.

"Requirements of our services will only increase over a period of time. Till now, we have been over-dependent on imports to meet our requirements and the earlier we reverse this trend, the better it is for our defence industry," Antony said.

The Minister was addressing a ceremony to give away the Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence 2009-10 to the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Boards (OFB).

"Not just DRDO, but all organisations should take a lead in investing more and more time, money and human resources in research and development," Antony said.

The Minister said to achieve this objective the DPSUs and OFBs must develop and encourage in-house capabilities.

Increased self-reliance is the best way to strengthen the twin processes of modernisation and indigenisation, he added.

Stressing on the need to "innovate and reform" at a faster pace, Antony said, "Modernisation must be accompanied by even greater transparency and accountability. This in turn, calls for a far more efficient and professional management of both the physical and human resources."

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