Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said armed forces have been given the free hand to procure their choice of equipment from Indian or foreign manufacturers as per their requirement even though she always tells them to procure from local sources.
Despite India looking forward to exporting military equipment, she said that she would not prevail upon the armed forces to necessarily buy from local manufacturer much against certain other requirements.
"When I am promoting Indian exports, Indian manufacturing, I am also telling the forces to procure as much as possible rocure domestically….I want to drive a thin line between one the government’s enthusiasm to make sure that production capabilities are such that they can meet international standards and be export worthy and the other side of the line where army, navy or Air Force, make their decisions on what they want, what combination of equipment they want and in that combination, if an Indian produce type fits in then they take it.
“But I can’t for a moment imagine that I prevail upon them that they necessarily buy what is Indian, which I also want to export much against certain other requirements which they may want to look at," Nirmala Sitharaman said while addressing a press conference at the ‘DEFEXPO 2018' here.
Sitharaman said that it was their call on how many Indian-produced missiles or equipment fits into "their plans and I have to respect that". “They are using indigenous products, maybe not as much as we would want, however, there is a fine line. The forces will have to take a call on what they need,” she noted. (end of excerpt)
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