Defence Ministry to help promote indigenous manufacturing from 30% to 70% in 5 years
“Government is attempting to boost MSME sector’s contribution to indigenous manufacturing in defense from 20-30% at present to 70% in next 5 years under its ambitious Make in India programme,” said Lieutenant General Ravi Thodge, AVSM, SM, VSM, Master General Ordnance, Indian Army (Retd.), during an interactive meeting on ‘Make in India in Defence: Opportunities for MSMEs & Manufacturing Sector’ held at WTC Mumbai last week. The interactive meeting was jointly organized by All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and World Trade Centre Mumbai. “This will not only boost opportunities for the MSME sector but also lead to job creation,” he said. At present, India is importing nearly 60% of its defense manufacturing components. The Government of India is committed to working with MSMEs focusing on import substitution, added Lt Gen Thodge.
The Make in India programme puts great thrust on sustainability. Lt Gen Thodge added that the Government is reaching out to MSMEs across India to encourage them to participate in this programme. Government is also committed to introducing more clusters of defense manufacturing to help MSMEs reap the benefits of logistical efficiency, as well as to harness the benefits of innovation from all parts of the country. He informed the gathering that the Ministry of Defence is already working with the Government of Maharashtra to promote clusters in Nasik for aircraft components, forging and foundry in Kolhapur and for tank and combat vehicles in Pune. He further added that MOD was developing a testing center for Defense Procurement Assistance Center in Belgaum, Karnataka. This will also help MSMEs with testing facilities.
On the issue of procedural delays and transparency keeping MSMEs vary of participating in the Make in India programme, Lt Gen Thodge added that since 2014, the Ministry had done away with physical tendering and all tenders today were e-tenders.
“Government is finalizing RFPs for procuring ammunition of the value of Rs. 2500 crore per year under the Make in India programme and that these would be uploaded soon. This would be a game changer,” he concluded.