New Delhi: Urging the startups and MSMEs to develop sophisticated technical solutions to military challenges, Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOS) Lt Gen SK Saini on Friday advised them to use the technologies concurrently in the civil domain that would help in bringing down their costs, making them financially viable in the medium and long term.
Addressing an online seminar organised by the Society for Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), in partnership with the Department of Defence Production, Lt Gen Saini also said that the negative list will help the indigenous industry and provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) the opportunity to fulfill the defence needs of the force.
The Vice Chief also assured that the import ban list will not restrict the forces to procure niche technologies from abroad.
It is pertinent to mention here that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week had announced that the central government will notify a list of weapons, that can be made in the country, for a ban on their import.
Echoing the call for 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lt Gen Saini said that the announcements will have a huge positive impact on India's defence acquisition and sustenance.
The Vice Chief explained to the audience that 80 per cent of the Army's capability development and more than 92 per cent of its sustenance budget was based on indigenous products and services.
Among the game-changing reforms planned to improve India's defence capacity are the increase in FDI limits from 49 to 74 per cent, corporatisation of OFBs, indigenisation of imported spares among other policy norms.
He expressed hope that other ammunition varieties including those that were being imported currently, based on the response of the defence industry, will also be added in the list of items to be manufactured indigenously.
The Vice Chief said the larger enterprises will have to act as major hubs of research and development, manufacturing and integration which in turn will provide impetus to the smaller MSMEs to provide them with ancillary support, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem in the long run.