Make-II initiative to benefit small industries: Sitharaman

[India], Jan 19 (ANI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the recently-introduced Make-II initiative in defence procurement will greatly help small industries involve themselves in manufacturing defence equipment.

Addressing the gathering at the Defence Industry Meet here on Thursday, Sitharaman said the government is promoting indigenisation of defence equipment production under the ‘Make in India’ initiative to improve self-reliance in the area.

She also announced that this year, the Defence Expo will be held in Mahabalipuram, near Chennai, from April 11to 14.

Sitharaman further said participants from over 80 countries are expected to attend the Expo.

Earlier, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Tuesday cleared the procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines worth Rs 3,547 crores in order to meet an immediate requirement of the troops deployed along the borders.

The DAC, chaired by Sitharaman announced the simplification of the ‘Make-II’ procedure, which prescribes guidelines to be followed to develop and manufacture defence equipment through Indian industry.

Considering that no government funding is involved in ‘Make-II’ project, the DAC simplified the procedure to make it industry-friendly, with minimal government control.

The salient aspects of the revised procedure will now allow MoD to accept suo-moto proposals from the industry and also allow start-ups to develop equipment for the Indian Armed Forces.

The minimum qualification criteria to participate in Make-II projects has also been relaxed by removing conditions related to credit rating and reducing financial net worth criteria. (ANI)

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