Com­merce Min­istry fa­cil­i­tat­ing ‘Make in In­dia’ cam­paign

SP's MAI - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK - Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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 !

Jayant Baran­wal

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