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Trust deficit in defence will be removed: Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurating the world-class manufacturing facility built exclusively for Airbus at Aequs SEZ, near Hattargiin Belagavi district, on Monday.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurating the world-class manufacturing facility built exclusively for Airbus at Aequs SEZ, near Hattargiin Belagavi district, on Monday.   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

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The element of “trust deficit” in the Defence Ministry continues to haunt the present > incumbent Manohar Parrikar, who has sought an year’s time to remove the suffix in the term and bring in effective changes to boost defence manufacturing and procurement in line with the “Make in India (MII)” programme aimed at transforming the country into a global manufacturing hub in the days to come.

Inaugurating the world class manufacturing facility built exclusively for Airbus at Aequs SEZ near Hattargi of Hukkeri taluk, 35 km from here, on Monday, he said: “Trust deficit was highest in the defence department; it still exists and needs appropriate changes. I thought I could do it in 5-6 months, but I am determined to bring changes in a year and show what Indians and India can do.”

The >manufacturing for defence requirement is not moving at required pace because of the atmosphere of suspicion and it has to be removed to strengthen “trust”. Measures had been taken to bring in necessary changes to the existing offset rules and regulations while some of which had been already modified. Also, measures are being taken to tax reforms for defence manufacturing sector. Issues related to existence of agents and black-marketing are also being addressed.

Already, the government has >de-listed two-third items manufactured for defence department, thereby opening opportunities for the private sector.

He said the MII offered full of opportunities while the biggest chuck could come from the defence sector given the fact that the country was still depended a lot on imports to meet defence requirement. At present, the defence offset procurement (parts manufactured in India under offset clause) was around USD 30 billion, which could exceed 35 billion dollars by the end of the current financial year. Indian defence imports could be USD 8-10 billion in next 5 to 10 years.

Aravind Melligeri, Chairman & CEO, Aequs, said the company planned to invest USD 50 million at the Belagavi facility over next five years and generate employment for over 1,000 skilled professionals during the period.

Srinivasan Dwarakanath, MD Airbus India, said Airbus had planned to deliver 6,000 planes, which meant opportunities for supply parts to the company. Prakash B. Hukkeri, MP, Suresh C. Angadi, MP Prabhakar Kore, Rajya Sabhya member, Robert Hartan, Vice President, Aerostructures and Materials, Airbus Defence and Space, Germany, Rajeev Kaul, Group MD, Aequs India, were present.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 5:02:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/trust-deficit-in-defence-will-be-removed-parrikar/article7625962.ece

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