The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today said there is tremendous scope for both the Public and Private sector to grow and play a meaningful role in manufacturing Defence equipment and platform for the Armed Forces. Speaking at a function to award Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence here, Shri Antony said even if both the public and private sector work to their full potential, they would not be able to fulfil all the requirements of the Services in the near future.
Giving an overview of the defence manufacturing sector, Shri Antony said, the private sector is emerging at a rapid pace. He said, though the public sector has been manufacturing advance weapon systems and platforms over the years, the pace and direction of the progress has left a lot to be desired.
“Our over dependence on imports has made us one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world. Our public sector must own up large responsibility in realising our aspirations of self-reliance in the defence sector,” he said.
Shri Antony said defence production in our country has been done mainly by the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence PSUs. However times are changing at a rapid pace. “With the opening up of defence production for the private sector, several large industries have shown a keen interest invest and develop capabilities in defence production and assume the role of system integrators. The private sector and the public sector must work in tandem and look upon each other as healthy competitors, rather than rivals,” he said.
Shri Antony urged the Ordnance Factories and the Defence PSUs to further enhance the quality of service to the defence forces. “The need of the hour is to develop the best of technologies and staying truly competitive to keep pace with the fast-paced technological changes. The public sector must make every possible effort to ensure that the products developed for our Armed Forces are not only cost-efficient and technologically competitive, but also strictly adhere to timelines.” He strongly emphasised the need for total transparency and integrity in all spheres of work. “It is important to remain fully committed and accountable to the correctness of our actions in our day-to day work.”
On this occasion Shri Antony presented Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence -2011-12 to institutions and individuals. In total eleven categories of Awards were given. The award for all round excellence for the year 2011-12 has been given to Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI). The award for best performance in Export has been given to Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the best performing Shipyard Award has been conferred upon Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. Kolkata. BEL has the distinction of winning five other awards for excellence in various other group/individual categories.
The meeting was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri G.C Pati, Chairman, OFB and CMDs of Defence PSUs Shri H.S Choudhary.