HYDERABAD: In order to reduce the dependence on import of defence equipment, the government decided to allow foreign direct investment in defence sector, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
"Government institutions alone cannot do everything. Private public partnership is also the need of the hour. In spite of all advanced technology and research programmes, we are importing and spending a huge amount of money. Keeping that in mind, the Government decided to allow FDI," he said.
He was addressing international conference on advanced avionics at research centre Imarat, missile avionics hub of DRDO, here.
"We have achieved great strides in missile technologies. But, we are importing most of our other defence equipment. Government wants to reduce this considerably. We want to establish manufacturing facilities in India to cut imports.
"The government has enhanced the defence R&D budget this year and our endeavour is to have home-grown technologies in defence and we should be able to export defence equipment to other nations instead of importing," Naidu said, noting that the FDI decision however raised some eyebrows.
"It is a wise step and one must welcome this. It will also provide employment," he said.
Missile development was a game changer in the defence of country and RCI developed the avionic systems for all the missiles developed by DRDO, he noted, and stressed that RCI should increase its output and become world leader in avionics related technology.
"I feel it's time we have to allow private participation also. Because we have to increase production," he said.
Director-General of DRDO Avinash Chander said, "We have to gear up to meet the pace of changes in technology.
"We have to meet current aspirations of the country and the academia is going to play a major role in this regard. We are looking at higher weapon accuracies in future and we are also looking for wire-less connectivity in missiles," he said.