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Make in India : Gujarat emerges among preferred destinations for defence manufacturing

Make in India : Gujarat emerges among preferred destinations for defence manufacturing

NEW DELHI: Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, appears to have emerged among the preferred destinations for private players to set up defence manufacturing units under Make in India project.

The Modi-led NDA government has granted a record 22 licences to Gujarat since it assumed office in May 2014. The number is the same as that for Maharashtra, which has been a traditional favourite among private firms engaged in defence manufacturing.

In contrast, Gujarat managed to get only five industrial licences sought by private companies to set up defence and explosive manufacturing units between 2001 and 2014. Records with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion show that the Modi government has cleared over 121 industrial licences in all for the private sector as part of its ‘Make in India’ programme and policy to promote the defence manufacturing sector.

Gujarat hardly saw any proposals for the setting up of a defence unit in the past, with Pipavav being the only major exception. But now, several more applications for Gujarat are in the pipeline, with Adani Defence Systems and Technologies being a prominent name in the waiting list.

The firms which have been granted licences include AMW motors, which wants to set up a production unit for armoured fighting vehicles and light bullet proof vehicles, and Swallow Systems that wants to set up a UAV manufacturing unit. Asteria Aerospace plans to make helicopters in Gujarat, while Reliance Defence Systems has bagged 11 licences for manufacturing military systems from submarines to electronic warfare equipment in the state.

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Maharashtra, which has also got 22 licences, has companies including Bharti shipyards, Idea Forge and Tata MotorsBSE -1.76 % lining to set up shop. The BJP-led government has been pushing Gujarat as a preferred destination for defence manufacturing in the country.

In January, defence minister Manohar Parrikar addressed a seminar on ‘Gujarat: Preferred Hub for Defence Production’, one of his first major events since taking over the top position. The minister is likely to head to Ahmedabad next week too for a similar event – CII’s ‘Defence Conclave on Building Capabilities in Defence Manufacturing’.

Thursday, December 03, 2015
By: ET
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