Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor on Sunday, taking a step forward to boost indigenous production of defence equipment. Total investments worth over Rs 3,038 crore in this defence corridor were announced during the inauguration.
A majority of the investments would come from PSUs as Ordnance Factory Board, Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited committed to invest Rs 2,305 crore, Rs 140.5 crore and Rs 150 crore, respectively.
Private companies TVS, Data Patterns and Alpha Designs would make investments of Rs 50 crore, Rs 75 crore and Rs 100 crore, respectively. Lockheed Martin, one of the global security giants, also announced its intention to invest in the corridor.
The Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor — also called the Tamil Nadu Defence Production Quad as the nodal cities form a quadrilateral with one of them at the centre — includes Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli as nodes.
“The response from the local industry to this defence corridor has been amazing. They even wanted to extend this corridor up to Palakkad but we had to tell them that it would currently consist of these five nodes (cities) only,” Sitharaman said.
The minister said development of these defence corridors will facilitate a well-planned and efficient industrial base that will lead to increased defence production in the country.
The idea behind setting up defence industrial corridors is to ensure connectivity among various defence industrial units.
The five nodal cities have existing defence ecosystem in the form of ordnance factory boards, vendors working with defence PSUs, and other allied industries.
The Sunday meeting in Tiruchirappalli was attended by over 500 industry representatives. Several ministers and senior officials of the Tamil Nadu government, senior Defence Ministry officials and executives from defence PSUs were present at the event.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget speech on February 2 last year, had announced that two defence industrial production corridors will be set up in the country to promote domestic industry base.
The government has envisaged building corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
On August 11 last year, the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor was launched at Aligarh with announced investments of Rs 3,732 crore.