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India must shed 'world's largest arms importer' tag, says defence official

PTI
Published : Sep 14, 2018, 7:28 pm IST
Updated : Sep 14, 2018, 7:28 pm IST

Secretary in department of defence production says, 'If China could (reduce dependence on imports productions) then why cannot India'?

Secretary in the department of defence production (DP) Ajay Kumar said public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports. (Photo: Youtube Screengrab/ Indian Army Ghost Operator)
 Secretary in the department of defence production (DP) Ajay Kumar said public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports. (Photo: Youtube Screengrab/ Indian Army Ghost Operator)

Kolkata: The secretary in the department of defence production (DP) Ajay Kumar on Friday said India has overtaken China as the world's largest arms importer and should shed the tag.

He said the public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports and licensing system in some items that had been liberalised.

"India is the world's largest arms importer, a place which earlier belonged to China", he said over video conference from Delhi at a seminar organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Kumar said, "If China could (reduce dependence on imports productions) then why cannot India"?

Citing the instance of Mexico, he said the central American country has established a huge aero-manufacturing base and exports to the US and Europe.

According to Kumar, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are responsible for 74 per cent of the global arms trade. "What part of that pie we need to have?" he asked, adding that many countries were willing to buy arms from India.

Kumar said that testing infrastructure would be set up for the private sector also.

Former chief of Air Staff Arup Raha said, "unfortunately India continues to depend on imports for high-end weapon systems".

Tags: department of defence production, ajay kumar
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]