All stakeholders will be consulted on defence procurement policy: PM

'Policy paralysis in the sector due to UPA-II'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised to consult all stakeholders, both Indian and foreign companies, on the defence production and procurement policy as part of government's efforts to give a major push to military manufacturing in India.

In his address after inaugurating the Defence Expo in Thiruvidanthai on the outskirts of Chennai, Modi said his government's dream was to develop an ecosystem to foster an environment of new and creative entrepreneurship in the defence manufacturing sector.

"..for this, in the weeks ahead, we will undertake extensive consultations with all stakeholders, both Indian and Foreign companies, about our Defence Production and Defence Procurement policy space. I call upon all of you to actively participate in this exercise. Our aim is not just to discuss, but to draw the right lessons. Our intention is not to lecture, but to listen. Our goal is not merely to tinker, but to transform," Modi said.

The defence ministry had last month come out with a draft policy which envisages achieving a turnover of Rs 1,70,000 crore in military goods and services by 2025 by promoting the domestic defence industry.

Modi also hit out at the previous UPA government for policy paralysis in the defence sector and gave an assurance to foreign companies that his government will not take a decade to take a decision on procurement of a batch of 110 fighter jets.

"There was a time when, like many other aspects of governance, the critical issue of defence preparedness was also hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen the damage such laziness, incompetence or perhaps some hidden motives, can cause to the nation. Not now. Not anymore. Never again. Issues that should have been long addressed by previous governments, are being resolved now," he said.

He also announced that the government was committed to establishing two defence industrial corridors - one in Tamil Nadu and other in Uttar Pradesh. The prime minister also said India's commitment to peace is just as strong as its commitment to protecting its territory and listed his government's efforts in making the country a hub of defence manufacturing and bolstering the armed forces.

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