CONGRESS SEEKS REAL POLITICAL CONSENSUS FOR INDIA’S DEFENCE SECTOR AT DEFENCE & HLS EXPO-2018 OF PHDCCI
Indian National Congress on Saturday asked the government of the day to engage with all political parties for a real consensus for defence policy trajectory to ensure that balance is struck in all defence purchases including exports and imports as well.
Its Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and national spokesperson, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi though admitted that physical consensus in defence related matters between the ruling party and those of opposition is largely there, however, needs to be converted into real consensus with the former seeking to engage with opposition for the sake of efficiency and transparency.
Speaking at the valedictory session of the Defence & Homeland Security Expo and Conference – 2018 under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, Dr. Singhvi though appreciated the changes made in defence offset policy of the government since 2006 by successive governments including changes and modifications in the defence offset policy of 2016 for increased and enhanced defence production with focus in Make-in-India, however, concluded that the referred policy initiatives have not resulted in desired and intended results because host of factors such as lack of consensus on political front and equally so on account of bureaucratic hurdles.
The spokesperson suggested that India needs to accelerate and multiply its engagements and dialogues with private sector with focused and comprehensive manner since its existence in defence production is virtually missing as either the defence procurement is largely imported to an extent of over 65% or concentrated on state owned corporations and ordnance factory.
He came out with other prescription, recommending that India should contemplate to emulate China in its defence engagements and dealings of bartered arrangements in countries in which China exports arms in consideration for communities such as oil and gas and the like. Such an arrangement could be ideal for Indian defence sector for perpetualising its national interests and national gains, emphasized Mr. Singhvi.
Former External Affairs Minister and a Lawyer of repute, Mr. Salman Khurshid also reiterated the need for political consensus for the defence sector for its overall growth and expansion including that of self-reliance with India’s defence policies becoming defensive as well as offensive as per its emerging requirements.
He also recommended that a comprehensive defence export and import initiatives should be the need of hour for lacunae in such policy making could have implications as defence export and import can sometime happen to enemies and even potential enemies.
President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Anil Khaitan in his welcome remarks, appreciated the increased private sector participation in defence manufacturing and hoping that future defence policy would be supportive to private sector involvement and engagement in defence production with larger keenness and promote Make-in-India as well skilled employment.
Sr. Vice President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Rajeev Talwar who also spoke on the occasion, appreciated the Make-in-India initiatives not only in defence sector but also other economic activities to push up domestic manufacturing with larger private sector participation that will lead to mass employment.
Among other who were also present on the occasion former President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Salil Bhandari; Chairman, Defence & Homeland Security Committee, PHD Chamber, Mr. Rajiv Bhatnagar; and its Secretary General, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal.
Koteshwar Prasad Dobhal