While speaking at a seminar, “Gujarat : Preferred Hub for Defence Production” , held on the sidelines of Vibrant Gujarat, in Gandhinagar today, the Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar said that, a 20 billion dollar import bill for defence was not affordable. Such a huge import bill has undesirable consequences for the economy, development and unemployment in the country. He added that, for strategic reasons too, the country should not be dependent on defence imports. In the light of this background the Minister said that his government hopes to come up with a document in two to three months on a suitable model for defence manufacturing and procurement. Shri Parrikar, also stated that his ministry should soon be in a position to decide which items should be manufactured in India and over a period of time, gradually that list would be increased.
The Minister also said that high end technology should be used in defence. However, after spending crores in curtain projects the goal post suddenly shifts. Therefore, there is need for total overhaul in conceptualizing and thinking with regard to defence manufacturing and procurement.
Once the concepts are clear, we can than engage the Gujarat Government and involve them in the process of defence production, the Minister said. He hoped that the seminar would come out with good suggestions.