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Bharath Kumar asked: How is the indigenisation of defence production going on?

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  • Laxman Kumar Behera replies: India’s tryst with indigenisation of defence production has so far not yielded the desired result. This is reflected in the country’s huge arms import which runs into billion of dollars every year. According to US Congressional Research Service (CRS), India ranks third among the developing country, with total arms import valued at US$ 14.2 billion between 2002 and 2009. The heavy import dependency, which is now around 70 per cent, has promoted the Union Defence Minister to describe it as “shameful and dangerous,”

    Notwithstanding, the low level of indigenisation the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken several key measures, to revitalise the domestic defence industry. Through continuous revision of procurement procedures, the MoD has created more opportunity for the domestic industry to supply various items to the armed forces. Since 2001, the MoD has allowed the domestic private sector to participate fully in defence production. It is expected that the various reform measures taken so far and the on-going debate on initiating more reform measures, such as those pertaining to FDI in defence industry and creation of certain ‘Champions’ in the domain of private sector, etc, will bear fruit in the coming years.