Ensuring national security is Government's top priority: Rajnath Singh
Indian Navy (IN) and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) are being equipped with indigenous state-of-the-art ships and weapons to protect the maritime borders of the country. This was stated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the meeting of Consultative Committee for Ministry of Defence on ‘Defence Shipyards’ attended by a number of Members of Parliament in Mumbai on December 2, 2022. Rajnath Singh asserted that all efforts are being to strengthen IN and ICG as ensuring national security is the Government’s top priority.
Commending the defence shipyards for playing a crucial role in this direction, the Defence Minister stated that they have ensured timely delivery and quality of products, which is pivotal for building a strong military, and are striving to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. He listed out a number of initiatives taken by the Government to encourage indigenous manufacturing of weapons/products and minimise imports by DPSUs. The initiatives include notification of Positive Indigenisation Lists comprising Major Line Replacement Units/Sub-systems and SRIJAN portal.
“The SRIJAN portal was launched on August 14, 2020 to promote indigenisation. As on September 30, 2022, there are 783 items of shipyards on the portal. These items were earlier imported and their indigenous vendors were not available. The shipyards have, so far, been able to successfully indigenise 73 items from the list. Indigenisation efforts for the remaining items are in progress in collaboration with industry partners,” Rajnath Singh said.
The Defence Minister also lauded the defence shipyards for strengthening the country’s economy. “During 2021-22, the Value of Production of these shipyards was 8,925 crore and Profit After Tax was 928 crore. Presently, the order book position of these shipyards is 81,777 crore,” he said.
Rajnath Singh also appreciated the fact that procurement through Government e Marketplace (GeM) is increasing in the shipyards, which has not only provided a boost to domestic products, but has ensured transparency in procurement. The shipyards have been asked to increase procurement through GeM and a target has been to make 25 percent of the total procurement from MSMEs, he added.
The Defence Minister exuded confidence that soon the shipyards will not only meet the domestic requirements, but also earn export orders on a competitive basis. He hoped that these shipyards will continue to adapt themselves to the changing environment and achieve the desired results. Friendly countries have appreciated the quality of the platforms manufactured by these shipyards, he added.