Graft spiked in defence deals in previous govts, says Rajnath Singh

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The home minister claimed India was emerging as a global hub in research and development as well.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Union home minister Rajnath Singh has strongly advocated increasing local defence production, saying absence of this under earlier governments was the main reason for substantial increase in corruption in defence deals.

Mr Singh also supported a policy for offering incentives in defence manufacturing saying foreign companies now are not only interested in investing in India but willing to transfer technology as well.

“Earlier, defence production was not promoted the way it should have been. Although governments may have had the intention to do so, they did not succeed. Due to this, instead of competitiveness, corruption spiked in defence orders. You may have come across allegations in the media. This government has taken many steps to increase competitiveness and transparency in this sector,’’ the home minister added.

While speaking at a function organised by Assocham, Mr Singh stressed on the need for “self reliance” as it was important for providing foolproof internal security to the country and underlining the need to reduce dependency on other countries, especially in the defence sector.

“Israeli and Chinese companies seek to come to India and make investment for the purpose of defence production. They are not only ready to make investment and production, but also ready to even transfer technology to India if needed. We should consider giving more incentives in manufacturing in defence sector,” Mr Singh said at the event on “defence production”.

The home minister claimed India was emerging as a global hub in research and development as well, especially in manufacturing and engineering R&D through Make in India initiative.

“As far as the question of purchasing defence equipment is concerned, I can say that decisions to purchase defence equipment are now being taken fast as compared to past and their implementation is also ensured. If we can make “Mangalyaan” in a fraction of cost, then why should we depend on import on other nations,” Mr Singh said.

“Securing internal and external security of a country cannot be imagined unless it becomes self-reliant,” he added.