Riding on the Centre’s plans to boost indigenous production of defence equipment, the Maharashtra government is planning to set up defence parks with necessary facilities and infrastructure to house these manufacturing units. It is also working on a defence manufacturing policy which will promote this industry in the state.
Riding on the Centre’s plans to boost indigenous production of defence equipment, the Maharashtra government is planning to set up defence parks with necessary facilities and infrastructure to house these manufacturing units. It is also working on a defence manufacturing policy which will promote this industry in the state.Under its ambitious flagship ‘Make in India’ program, the Government of India wants to promote the manufacturing of defence hardware in India, which is among the largest importers of arms and armaments. Maharashtra, which too is seeking to boost its manufacturing sector through the ‘Make in Maharashtra’ program, wants to get a slice of the action buy attracting investment in the sector.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apurva Chandra, Maharashtra’s principal secretary (industries), told dna that they are working on a defence manufacturing policy to attract this sector-specific investment. “We are examining if defence parks can be set up with facilities like testing and trial facilities for the companies to test their explosives, bombs and armaments,” said Chandra, adding that they were locating areas for such facilities. These areas and the industries which seek to invest in them will get incentives.Chandra said that states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have similar defence manufacturing policies while Tamil Nadu has defence parks.These zones, which will be equipped with the necessary infrastructure and facilities, will be developed by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and will be spread over around 400 acres. Ancillary industries, which will act as feeder units for these industries, will also be located nearby. The policy will consult with the companies that have a presence in the defence sector, said Chandra.”Industries which are already in the sector want to expand, but this depends on their order book,” said Chandra.A strong manufacturing sector, coupled with the availability of skilled manpower and presence of companies already engaged in defence production, may help create the necessary ecosystem for the establishment of defence manufacturing units in Maharashtra. The state also houses 10 of the 41 ordnance factories in India, which are engaged in defence production.While at the ‘Hannover Trade Fair 2015’ to promote Maharashtra as an investment destination, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had visited the Swedish aerospace and defence major SAAB at Linköping in Sweden and had also tweeted a photograph of himself in the cockpit of a fighter, saying, “Thanks SAAB for your interest to @makeinmaha for #MakeInIndia.”SAAB’s JAS-39 Gripen light multi-role fighter was in the fray for the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for the acquisition of 126 fighters.The Indian armed forces spend 40% of their budget on capital acquisitions and meet 60% of their requirement through imports. The Defence Production Policy, 2011 encourages the indigenous manufacture of defence equipment.