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Defence, Aerospace Sectors Offer $200 Bn Opportunities
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The Indian defence and aerospace industry will offer business opportunity in the range of $200 billion in the next 15 years, former secretary of the Department of Defence Research and Development V.K. Saraswat said.
Out of this, $30 billion would be by way of offsets alone, he told reporters on the sidelines of "Defence and Aerosupply India", a three-day industry conclave that began in Hyderabad on Thursday.
He stressed on developing technological prowess in the country rather than excessively depending on others.
Referring to the "Make in India" endeavour of the government, Saraswat, also a former adviser to the Defence Minister, said it should be "Design and Make in India", suggesting that designing also be done in a big way in the country.
"We need to build critical technology in the country. Otherwise, the self-reliance index cannot grow," he said.
Saraswat lauded the role of PSUs and ordnance factories in building and developing products for the country's requirements over the years, but said PSUs need to function in a corporate manner to be more competitive.
On the occasion, Chief Secretary of Telangana Rajiv Sharma, an organiser of the event, said the state government is keen on promoting the aerospace and defence sector in the city.
The government would soon come up with an industrial policy that would be business-friendly and aimed at promoting industrial growth in a big way, he said.
Hyderabad is expected to see huge investments in defence sector in the coming days, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said.
Addressing the inaugural session of Defence and Aerosupply, Rao said that the Telangana state government is all set to come out with a new industrial policy during the ongoing legislative assembly session.
"The state government is also looking at providing tax reliefs to budding entrepreneurs of the state," he said.
Rao said that the Telangana government is awaiting the central government's decision with regard to some concessions in the area of income tax and other central taxes for investors in the state.
Israel-based Brightstar Group Chairman David Artzi said that Telangana had "magnificent" industry ecosystem in the defence and aerospace area and it must focus on promoting it by holding such international conferences.
The defence forces should reduce dependence on imported equipment, President Pranab Mukherjee said this week.
Citing recent increase in FDI ceiling in defence from 26 to 49 per cent, he stressed the need for a well-calibrated strategy with primary focus on the development of indigenous military industry.
"Unfortunately, our forces are heavily dependant on imported wares. Today the dependency is around 70 per cent in regard to our capital requirement. The technology denial regimes, and the availability of critical spares and support at crucial moments can pose serious challenges to our security forces." he said.