28 May 2016 Current Affairs: Marking two years of NDA government, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has released a booklet highlighting the efforts made by the Department of Defence Production in these years in pursuance of self- reliance in the sector.
It is a compilation of the achievements of the department in the field of indigenous production of weapon systems, platforms and policy initiatives undertaken in the period.
The focus of the government has been to improve the business environment by easing processes to do so, encourage participation of Indian public and private sector in defence production and promote innovation and indigenous development of equipment and weapon platforms.
The booklet mentions a number of policy initiatives like relaxation in FDI Policy, providing Exchange Rate Variation protection to Indian industry, level-playing field to private sector in terms of excise duty/custom duty on par with public sector, liberalising licensing policy and extending the validity of Industrial Licensing to 15 years, streamlining defence offset guidelines and restoring services as an avenue for discharge of offsets.
It also talks about ordnance factories and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) working under the administrative control of Department of Defence Production having not only enhancing their production from Rs 43,746 crore to Rs 51,351 crore but also delivering many state-of-the-art platforms to the armed forces. During the last two years, exports have almost doubled and 119 industrial licences have been issued.
Other highlights say that all naval ships and submarines on order are being constructed in Indian shipyards and expenditure on capital procurement from foreign vendors in the last two years has come down from Rs 35,082 crore to Rs 22,422 crore.