Policy tweaked for private firm to get defence awards

Policy tweaked for private firm to get defence awards

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. PTI file photo

The defence ministry has tweaked its policy to permit private companies manufacturing military products to compete for an award of excellence instituted by the central government to encourage the good work undertaken by the industry.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday approved the new policy to allow the private firms to take on the 41 ordnance factories and a handful of defence public sector undertakings for the prestigious Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence.

“This is a significant departure from the past wherein only OFB Units and DPSUs competed among each other for the annual awards, and the private sector was not eligible for any national level competition,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The Narendra Modi government in its first innings created a framework and a set of rules clearing the decks for the ambitious “Strategic Partnership” programme under which big private companies are encouraged to enter the defence manufacturing business along with a foreign vendor, who will supply the technology.

So far two projects, construction of six conventional submarines at an Indian yard and manufacturing of 111 naval utility helicopters, have been selected for the strategic partnership programme. However, both are still going through paper works with no immediate sign of commencement of the construction.