We have to go in for self-reliance in this sector: A.K. Antony
India's public and private sector would have a much bigger role to play in the production of defence equipment in the near future for the country to emerge a strong defence manufacturing base, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference after commissioning the ICGS ‘Vishwast' at the Goa Shipyard Limited here, Mr. Antony said a country like India could not indefinitely depend on foreign defence equipment manufacturers alone, and spoke of the desire to strive for more self-reliance in this critical area.
“We have done it for pretty long years. This is never a happy situation. We have to go in for self-reliance. We should reduce reliance on other countries and make more space for Indian industries in both the private and public sector,” he said.
While underlining the growing importance of the private sector in the area of defence equipment production, Mr. Antony said this would not mean the weakening of the public sector. He said it had to be realised that the public sector could not shoulder the responsibility of manufacturing defence equipment on its own.
Emphasising the need to make India an important weapons and defence equipment-producing base, Mr. Antony said the country should also be able to supply defence equipment to other friendly countries.
‘Take serious steps'
In reply to another question, he said that unless Pakistan took some very serious steps to demolish and destroy the growing and active terrorist camps across the border, the atmosphere for talks between the two countries could not improve.