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Beg,borrow & steal for self-reliance in defence production: DRDO ex-chief

Former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat on Tuesday emphasised there is no harm if the country adopts a policy of “beg,borrow and steal” to develop an indigenous capability in defence production. Addressing the audience at the NASSCOM summit,he said,“Follow all means of technological development. Beg,borrow and steal to attain self-reliance […]

Former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat on Tuesday emphasised there is no harm if the country adopts a policy of “beg,borrow and steal” to develop an indigenous capability in defence production.

Addressing the audience at the NASSCOM summit,he said,“Follow all means of technological development. Beg,borrow and steal to attain self-reliance in defence production.”

Touching upon various aspects of defence including R&D,production,indigenisation and procurement,Saraswat said India has the capability to absorb offsets that the global manufacturers offer when they extend their equipment for Indian Armed Forces.

“There are about 800-odd industries in the country that are capable of developing high-end technologies,but our policy framework that allows their growth with our country’s growth needs to be developed,” he said.

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He said the taxation policy of the government for offset product going to foreign country and coming back as finished product causes double taxation resulting in denying benefit of the final product to the Indian production agency that has bagged the offset. “It needs to be changed,” he said.

Saraswat,who retired as the DRDO chief and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister in May,also pointed out the gaps that exist between the development of defence products and their production.

“The development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has formed about 100-odd agencies but the production agency Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is struggling to keep them as partners,”he said.

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The same is the case with development of Akash Surface to Air Missile (SAM) given that Bharat Dynamics Limited

(BDL) is finding it difficult to take those agencies as partners,he added.

First published on: 09-10-2013 at 01:59 IST
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