In a bid to promote domestic defence manufacturing, the Defence Ministry is mulling on formulating a method under which obtaining security clearance from Home Ministry, if delayed, will be “deemed to be approved”.
After a recent meeting between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and representatives from the industry, the Defence Ministry is now discussing measures to help private sector industries to get a final clearance, in case their request has been pending for a long time.
Sources said that a mechanism is being discussed under which small and medium level projects, if they don’t get a clearance within a certain period of time, the Defence Ministry will take up their matter with the Home Ministry, which provides final security clearance to defence related manufacturing projects.
The source also said the Defence Ministry is looking into a proposal under which if a licence remains pending for two months, or any decided period after its due date for approval has passed, it can be “deemed to be approved” in certain cases.
The industry representatives during their meeting had also raised the issue of foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers getting tax concessions which the Indian manufacturers don’t get.
The ministry is also discussing taking it up the issue with the Finance Ministry.
The Defence Ministry has also asked Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to prepare a list of defence technologies it has developed and has not been given to any government or private sector for manufacturing.
“Some of the technologies developed by DRDO have already been given to private sector and equipments are being manufactured and also exported. We will work with DRDO to make a list of items which can be commercialised,” said a source.
India has been looking at expanding its defence manufacturing base under the Make in India programme, and small and medium scale industry has been identified as a special component under it.
Sitharaman has held a meeting with representatives from the private sector on Saturday on pushing Make in India for defence.