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India has achieved 40 percent indigenisation: Antony


Defence Minister, AK Antony, Minister of State for Defence, MM Pallam Raju, at a press conference at Defexpo 2012. Photo: Brahmand.

NEW DELHI (BNS): India imports 'substantial amount' of arms and equipment from other countries, but it has achieved 40 per cent indigensation in the field, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Thursday.

"The earlier ratio of 70 per cent (arms) import and 30 per cent indigenous production has changed now."

"Today, we are able to produce certain key defence technology, including radars, electronic warfare systems and related equipment. Gradually we are developing these technologies to become self-reliant," Antony said, while addressing a press conference on the opening day of the seventh Defexpo 2012 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

He said that all defence PSUs and Ordinance factories in the country are being modernised at a fast pace. The private sector participation is also growing to meet the requirements of the Indian armed forces.

He further said that India's defence offsets policy has been modified last year to include aerospace, internal security and training in its purview so as to encourage domestic growth in these sectors.

"Along with indigenisation, we are also importing arms and equipment to meet the urgent requirement of our three Services," the Defence Minister said, while adding that many major defence projects are in the pipeline and they will be implemented only after budgetary sanctions from the Government.

In reply to a question on allowing 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in defence sector, Antony said, "For private defence firms of India, 100 per cent participation is allowed. But since defence is a very sensitive sector, we need to be cautious and FDI should remain limited to 26 per cent."

Amidst allegations of graft in the defence sector, the Minister said that any contract of over Rs. 100 crore will come under an 'integrity pact' to protect our money and national interest.

"If any malpractice is ever found in any stage of the contract then we will cancel the contract. Even after signing the contract if anything is found we will take action, we have very strong safe guards," he said.

About the procurement of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force for which French firm Dassault Aviation's Rafale fighter jet has emerged as the lowest bidder, the Minister said that it will take another six to eight months for the Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) to finalise the deal following which it will be examined by the Defence Ministry and other ministries in the Government before awarding the final contract.

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Defexpo  India  Antony  

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