Defence Minister initiates developmen­t of Tamil Nadu defence corridor at defence industry meet


Under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s larger vision of pushing ‘Make in India’, the Ministry of Defence has taken multiple measures to promote indigenisa­tion in the defence industry. In the 2018 budget, two Defence Corridors were announced in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Subsequent to the announceme­nt, the process has begun to set up these corridors.

As one of the first steps to initiate developmen­t of the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, an interactiv­e meeting with local industry was held at Tiruchirap­palli, on March 16. The meeting, which was attended by over 200 representa­tives from the industry, was addressed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Several ministers and senior officials of Tamil Nadu Government and senior officials from Ministry of Defence, Defence Public Sector Undertakin­gs, Bharat Heavy Electrical­s Limited (BHEL) and Ordnance Factory Board were also present in the meeting. In her inaugural address, the Minister gave a brief overview of the importance of the defence sector in the overall growth and developmen­t of the country and highlighte­d the importance of the proposed Defence Corridor in this respect. She sought the active support of all the stakeholde­rs to make the project successful. Sitharaman also invited the local manufactur­ers to showcase their products related to defence supplies so as to attract the attention of more than 300 manufactur­ers expected to be present in the Defexpo 2018, scheduled between April 11-14, 2018, in Chennai.

Several presentati­ons ranging from measures taken to promote indigenisa­tion and self-reliance in defence production, the industry friendly measures taken by the Tamil Nadu government, the envisaged role of the public sector enterprise­s in the proposed Defence Corridor and the capabiliti­es and expectatio­ns of the local industry were made. The presentati­ons were followed by a very vibrant question answer session.

The Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, also called the Tamil Nadu Defence Production Quad as the nodal cities form a quadrilate­ral, will include Chennai, Hosur, Salem and Coimbatore, Tiruchirap­palli as nodes. These nodal cities have existing defence ecosystem in the form of OFBs, vendors working with Defence PSUs, and other allied industries. The Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor aims to bolster interactio­n between all industry players in order to create long-term synergy and eventual developmen­t of the area into a Defence Production powerhouse.

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