Speaker: Expert Speakers / Panelists
Indigenisation of defence products must: Thodge
Master general of Ordnance Factory (retd) Lt Gen Ravi Thodge addressing the gathering during a seminar on ‘opportunities for SMEs in defence sector’ organised by Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) and Defence Innovators and Industry Association (DIIA) on Wednesday while ex-chairman of Ordnance Factory Board, Sartaj Singh, VIA president Atul Pande, senior patron of DIIA in New Delhi and first convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, P Murlidhar Rao, co-chairman of DIIA, Ashok Alturi, president and CEO for Defence and Aerospace, Bharat Forge Limited, Rajendra Bhatia and VIA secretary, Suhas Buddhe look on. lokmat news network
nagpur, aug 3
Master general of Ordnance Factory (retd) Lt Gen, Ravi Thodge has laid a thrust on the indigenisation of defence sector to reduce cost with more participation from MSME sector in the production of arms and ammunition in India.
Ravi Thodge who was delivering a keynote address during a day long seminar on ‘opportunities for SMEs in defence sector’ organised by Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) and Defence Innovators and Industry Association (DIIA) here on Wednesday further said that the new policy of the government would bridge the gap between armed forces and defence industries engaged in production.
Today, the system is streamlined and e-procurment is done. “As a result we have been able to break cartelisation”, he quipped on this occasion.
Till now, ancillary units were kept away from major production and India imported defence equipment though defence sectors had created platforms of manufacture for them.
However, India only bought processes and reproduced them without understanding their actual working, he informed.
He asked if India is in a position to manufacture even small arms and exhorted ex-servicemen to come together on the lines of their counterparts in Pune for changing the present situation. “When you step into defence production, it must be of supelative quality,” he told. Manufacturing platforms are well developed by private players like Bharat Forge. Even MSME sector has lots of opportunities as arms and ammunition of around Rs.200 to Rs.300 crore and spare parts of totalling Rs. 500 to Rs.1000 crore would be manufactured in India in the next few years, he informed.
Senior patron of DIIA in New Delhi and first convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, P Murlidhar Rao said Nagpur would get its due share when defence sector becomes vibrant.
Nagpur is going to be a safe place for defence establishments, given its strategic location and prophesied that Nagpur can grow to its full size in Indian economy in logistical and defence sector.
In future, the global security framework would be decided by US, India and China, he said adding Chinese invasion in 1962 changed the security perspective of India, which was till then trying to build only good neighbourly relations based on the principle of non-violence.
The present government has promoted defence preparedness which can reduce dependence on foreign countries, he asserted.
Foreign investment is a good substitute for defence imports, however, create a policy framework to enable private Indian players to become partners with foreign players and subsequently establish themselves.
Without MSMEs, India can not achieve self-reliance in defence sector. For this purpose, a dedicated association of defence manufacturers must be created much on the lines of FICCI and Assocham, he opined.
President and CEO for Defence and Aerospace, Bharat Forge Limited, Rajendra Bhatia said defence industries should be provided market opportunities, technology, innovation, manufacturing competitiveness, manufacturing capability. All these factors can be gained from MSMEs provided they get good climate.
In this connection, he pitched for lowering interest rates, creating defence corpus fund, simplifying Make In India procedure, providing financial incentives like tax holidays, operationalisation of R & D facilities, technology upgradation fund, implementation of time bound defence procurement procedure and others.
Co-chairman of DIIA, Ashok Alturi said focus of DIIA is on innovation.
Today, value of Indian goods is much less in global market. We, must therefore try to become global leaders in design and technology. He urged the gathering to shed the feeling that defence sector is not for making profit.
Ex-chairman of Ordnance Factory Board, Sartaj Singh said Nagpur is a good centre for defence production and urged SMEs of the city to come forward and grab this opportunity.
He also stressed the need of cluster approach in defence sector like that in European countries.
Earlier, President of VIA Atul Pande in his welcome speech said that Vidarbha is ideal for defence production with its skilled manpower and strong leadership and also hoped that the SMEs and MSMEs from Nagpur would take advantage of the seminar. VIA secretary, Suhas Buddhe proposed a vote of thanks.
The seminar concluded with the narration of success stories by entrepreneurs. A large number of local entrepreneurs, defence personnel, VIA members attended the seminar.
MSMEs should embrace new technology: Cowshish
Additional controller general (Retd) of Defence, Amit Cowshish said here on Wednesday that MSMEs will have to embrace new technology in view of the changing perspective in the defence sector.
He was speaking during a panel discussion on ‘revenue procurement-opportunities for SMEs’ during a day long seminar organised by VIA and DIIA here. There are a lot of challenges before MSMEs, however, defence sector offers plethora of opportunities to them.
Col Salva Kumar said Indian industry today, particularly in manufacturing sector is stronger than ever.
Hence industrialists must come forward to help defence sector.He also spoke about various changes that can happen in organisational structure.
Col S S Balaji said procurement procedure in defence sector is absolutely transparent since all system is made online and it can be viewed on the website of the defence ministry. Central Public Procurement Portal has a facility of e-tendering due to which industrialists can take part in the bidding process without any glitch.
He also shared names, numbers and addresses of various authorities in the defence sector for free advice. CEO of Tata Power SED, Nilesh Tungar said MSMEs working in defence manufacturing sector must be apprised of latest technology and techniques of quality production so that the products manufactured by them can be inducted into armed forces without any hitch. Amit Cowshish.
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