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We want to move fast. But, we do not want to take short cuts: PM Modi

On Thursday (12 April 2018) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 10th edition of Defence Expo 2018 in Chennai.

Addressing the gathering which included over 670 exhibitors with 150 from abroad, Prime Minister Modi spoke about the goal of the government. He elaborated in details the steps the government has taken to achieve the goal of creating an Industrial Defence Complex which is understandably a long way to go. He said, “We want to move fast. But, we do not want to take short cuts”.

Apart from an industrial defence complex, the government will create two industrial defence corridors , one in Tamil Nadu and another in Uttar Pradesh and these corridors will become the engines of economic development and growth of defence industrial base in the country.

In this massive venture, private sector participation will be encouraged.

The aim of the government is to develop the Ecosystem to Foster an Environment of New and Creative Entrepreneurship in the defence manufacturing sector. For this, the stakeholders including  both Indian and Foreign companies  will be consulted. The goal is not merely to tinker but to transform.

Excerpts from PM Modi’s speech

It is an opportunity like none other, not only to discuss India’s defence requirements, but also to show-case, for the first time ever, in such a manner, India’s own defence manufacturing capabilities to the world.

The Great Indian thinker and strategist Kautilya wrote theArth-shastra more than two thousand years ago. He said that the King, or the ruler, must protect his people. And, he also said that peace is preferable to war. India's defence preparedness is guided by these thoughts.Our commitment to peace is just as strong as our commitment to protect our people and our territory.And for this, we are ready to take all steps required to equip our Armed Forces, including through the establishment of a strategically independent defence industrial complex.

We are conscious that creating a defence industrial complex is far from simple. We know that a lot needs to be done, and many piecesof this puzzle need to fit together.

Therefore, over the last few years, we have made a humble beginning.

On defence manufacturing licenses, on defence offsets, on defence exports clearances, on Foreign Direct Investment in defence manufacturing, and on reforming our defence procurement, we have taken many steps.

In all these areas, our regulations, processes and procedures have been made more industry-friendly, more transparent, more predictable and more outcome oriented.

Initial validity of Industrial License has been increased from 3 years to 15 years, with provision to further extend it by 3 years.

The defence industry sector was closed to the private sector till May 2001, when it was first opened up to private sector participation by the Government of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee ji.

We have taken a step forward and revised the Foreign Direct Investment cap of 26 percent to 49 percent through the automatic route, and even up to 100 percent on a case-to-case basis. 

The former President and a great son of Tamil Nadu and India,Bharat RatnaDr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam had called upon all of us to “Dream! Dream! Dream! Dreams transform into thoughts, and thoughts result in action”.

Our dream is to Develop the Ecosystem to Foster an Environment of New and Creative Entrepreneurship in the defence manufacturing sector.

And for this, in the weeks ahead, we will undertake extensive consultations with all stakeholders, including 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.

We want to move fast. But, we do not want to take short cuts.
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