Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday Tamil Nadu will host its first-ever bi-annual defence exhibition in April. The exhibition will take place from April 11 to 14 and nearly 80 countries are expected to take part in it. “There have been queries regarding the expo… As to why it got delayed.. I must say that there was no delay.. After the cabinet reshuffle in September last year, we (Ministry) started the process,” she said in her address at the two-day Defence Industry Development Meet at Chennai.
Sitharaman said the ministry officials had earlier visited several states to hold the event and the Tamil Nadu government immediately came forward and alloted land for the same on the East Coast Road near Mahabalipuram. “Usually, the event is conducted by February end. Because of certain changes in the ministry, we had to take a call and I am grateful to the Tamil Nadu government for having helped us by providing land,” she said.
Sitharaman said arrangements will be made for the Navy, Army and Air Force to display their equipment in the exhibition. In a bid to promote small industries, huge discounts would be offered to them to set up stalls at the exhibition, she said. Referring to the two-day meet, Sitharaman appealed to the Defence firms to utilise the opportunity as officials of the ministry were available to offer any assistance.
On Transfer of Technology, Sitharaman said already 35 companies from Tamil Nadu have signed (TOT) for supply of defence equipment. “At national level, about 1,500 companies have been engaged with the ministry… So far 712 technology transfers have been made. At the state level, 35 companies have signed Transfer of Technology for supply of defence equipment,” she said.