Resurgent Indian Defence Industry
SP's MAI|February 1-15, 2017

In a rare media interaction with SP’s M.A.I., Ashok Kumar Gupta, Secretary, Defence Production, outlined his vision for defence manufacturing in India and addressed a wide range of subjects including ‘Make in India’, DPP 2016, defence offsets, role of DPSUs, investment in R&D, delays in procurement decisions, blacklisting and other related issues.

SP’s M.A.I. (SP’s): What is your vision for India’s domestic defence industry in terms of defence production?

Secretary, Defence Production (Secretary): As India is transforming from a regional power to a global power, the defence sector is increasingly occupying a bigger space in the country’s long-term strategic planning. A confident and resurgent Indian defence industry is making forays into almost all the sectors of manufacturing. Lately, the huge opportunities for growth within the domestic and global defence and aerospace industries have attracted the attention of Indian industry.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Defence Production Policy promulgated by the government aims at achieving substantive self-reliance in the design, development and production of equipment, weapon systems, platforms required for defence in as early a time frame as possible, creating conditions conducive for private industry to play an active role in this endeavour; enhancing potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in indigenisation and broadening the defence R&D base of the country.

Pursuant to the above policy and ‘Make in India’ initiative, the government aims to make the country self-reliant in defence production, through various initiatives. Several policy initiatives have already been implemented by the government such as liberalisation of FDI (foreign direct investment) policy and industrial licensing policy, simplification of export procedures, creating level playing field for Indian private and public sector companies, streamlining of offset implementation process, providing preference to ‘Buy (Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured)’ (Indian-IDDM), ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’ category in Defence Procurement Procedure.

SP’s: The new DPP 2016 is being referred to as game changer for the sector. How do you see it altering the Indian defence growth story?

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