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Antony urges private sector to join defence industry

Defence Minister A K Antony today urged the private sector to enter the defence sector, pointing out that the country was still a long way from establishing itself as a major defence equipment manufacturing nation.

"Much of the content of our defence requirement continues to be imported," he said in his address at a seminar on "Command, Control, Computers, Communication, Intelligence and Information (C4I2) Structures" here.

"Given the fact that India is emerging as a major economic player, this is certainly not a desirable state of affairs," he said.

Mr Antony also stressed the need for indigenisation, particularly in the defence sector, and said it was imperative for a country of India's size and economy to have a vibrant defence industry.

He said the government had undertaken several policy initiatives to correct this imbalance and sought to promote private-public partnerships,

He said the government had allowed 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector and the offset policy was aimed at encouraging technology inflows and enhancing the capability of the country's defence industrial base.

The minister said the private sector’s IT prowess could be harnessed for the requirements of the armed forces.

"Our country’s demonstrated abilities in the field of information technologies should be leveraged towards this objective," he said.

"The ability to process information and respond rapidly to changes in conflict situations can make all the difference between success or failure," he added.

NNN

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