Commerce Ministry facilitating ‘Make in India’ campaign
One of the most aggressive initiatives of the Narendra Modi-led government is ‘Make in India’ and all ministries are working towards this initiative to make not only India self-reliant, but also to ensure that India becomes a manufacturing hub not just in the region but also the world. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is one of the key ministries which facilitates implementation of the plan, through various incentives, programmes, etc. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, through her office has given details of the plans the Ministry has undertaken to facilitate industry in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s mission.
The specific response to the questions from SP’s M.A.I., the Ministry has given clear links for the industry’s reference and this goes a long way in understanding the various programmes, incentives, etc, many a time difficult to figure out in the labyrinthine bureaucratic circulars. The Ministry response comes on the eve of the ninth edition of Defexpo 2016, land, naval and internal security event which is taking place in Goa this time.
Defexpo has attracted nearly 1,000 participants from all over the world, reflecting the importance of India which is the topmost country which is importing arms in the world. Also this is happening at a time when the government is engaging different countries, the US, France, Russia, Israel, the UK, Japan and many others with regard to defence cooperation. The idea is to get these countries to think beyond selling arms and other equipment, but to transfer technologies such that India becomes a defence and aerospace manufacturing hub. We have highlighted how Indo-US partnerhship has taken on new meaning under the NDA regime, wherein there is more engagement and the US has accorded India a status of equal partner in trading, something which has never happened earlier.
All the activities requires government support and as regards the defence budget is concerned there is not much of improvement from last year, but considering the unused allocation from last budget, the increase is over 20 per cent. Considering the major acquisitions that are going to happen in the near future, analysts state that the budgetary allocations made for defence are highly inadequate. It remains to be seen how the government is going to balance between budget and the requirement of the armed forces which is so urgent.
The requirements on various fronts—internal security, coastal security, etc—have been highlighted in this issue by Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd) and Lt General Naresh Chand (Retd) on what the government needs to do with regard to coastal security and deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). India has strong association with Israel with regard to UAVs and other equipment and the relationship between India and Israel has special meaning. The security environment is increasingly becoming fragile as asymmetric threats are on the rise. If one looks at what is happening in Belgium, it is quite scary and unless systems are put in place there are going to be strikes which can debilitate the fabric of the nation. And Pathankot is a reminder.
Anyways, we hope that Defexpo in Goa will pave the way for more partnerships between Indian companies and foreign OEMs such that there is faster deployment of security systems, even while such partnerships are going to create employment, generate business and make India stronger.
We wish all the visitors to Defexpo 2016 all the best in their business and request you to visit us at Hall 10, Stall 10.5.5 !