Govt to spend Rs 6 lakh crore on defence equipment buys
Kolkata, Dec 20:
The defence equipment industry will see substantial growth as the Union Government is planning to spend nearly Rs 6 lakh crore to procure equipment over the next 15 years.
Addressing a defence seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Thursday, Rear Admiral A. K. Verma (Retd), CMD, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), said, “The defence equipment industry in India will see a business worth Rs 6 lakh crore in the next 15 years. Of this, about 70 per cent is going indigenised (localised). It’s time for the private players to stand up.” Verma is also the chairman of the Defence Task Force, CII Eastern Region. According to him, the small-scale industries involved in the defence ancillary industry would also benefit from this increased procurement.
Commenting on GRSE’s growth opportunities, Verma said the defence PSU is eyeing orders worth Rs 30,000 crore over the next ten years.
Stating that the eastern region and West Bengal, in particular, has a strong presence of small and medium industries, Verma said the SME sector in West Bengal alone can fetch Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 crore of the estimated spending over the next 15 years.
For example, he said, many such small industries are involved in cabling and plumbing works at the shipbuilding units of GRSE.
Himansu Sekhar Chaudhury, Member, Material and Components , Ordnance Factory Board, pointed out that more than 4,000 SMEs are engaged in supplying metal, clothes, leather and various semi-finished products to ordnance factories in the State.
West Bengal Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, who was present on the occasion, said the micro and small industries in the State should tap the defence equipment market .
Industry in Bengal
Meanwhile, Chatterjee reiterated that the State Government was not against any group, but against “forced land acquisition.”
Declining to comment on the Singur issue pertaining to the Tata Group, he welcomed Tata Consultancy Services’ announcement to invest Rs 1,350 crore at a software development campus in the State.