Indian defence exports surged in 2015

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) As India focuses on enhancing domestic production of military hardware, a surge in its export was recorded in nine months to end-2015, with the net value touching almost $210 million (Rs.1,400 crore).

According to the annual report of the defence ministry, the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the private sector companies exported products worth Rs.1,397 crore from April to December 2015. The final figures for the fiscal ending March 31 are yet to be tabulated.

Exports in the financial year 2014-15 were valued at Rs.994 crore.

“The trend in export shows phenomenal growth by the industry,” the defence ministry report said.

It also lauded the role of private companies in the defence sector, stating that the exports by the sector had shown “accelerated growth” by 12-14 companies.

The major destinations for defence exports from India include Afghanistan, Algeria, Belgium, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sudan, Vietnam and the UK.

Among the major items being exported are Offshore patrol vessels, spares for radars, Cheetal helicopters, turbo chargers and batteries, electronic systems, light engineering mechanical parts and personal protective items, which comprise articles like helmets, bulletproof jackets and other types of clothing.

The report also observed that the online system for NoCs (No Objection Certificates) which was started in November 2014 is working satisfactorily.

In August 2015, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for issuing NOCs for export of military stores by public or private defence industry were also revised.

Under this, the requirement of an End User Certificate to be countersigned or stamped by the government authorities has been done away with for the export of items like parts, components or sub-systems.

As the government promotes participation of private sector in defence manufacturing, the report also said that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has issued 319 Industrial Licences to 190 companies till January 2016.

Of these, 50 companies with 79 licences have started production.

The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) envisages providing a boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, enhanced role for private sector, and promoting medium and small scale industries.

It also has a new category of Buy Indian — Indigenous Design Development and Manufacturing under which indigenously designed equipment with 40 percent content will be procured.

According to Sweden-based think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), between 2011 and 2015 India was the largest importer of arms, accounting for 14 percent of the global trade.

It, however, does not appear prominently in the list of defence exporters, with the top slot being taken by the US, which accounts for 33 percent of global arms export, according to SIPRI.

According to the Institute’s analysis, adding together the data that states have made available on the financial value of their arms exports, the estimated total value of the global arms trade in 2013 was at least $76 billion. It adds that the true figure is likely to be higher.

(Anjali Ojha can be contacted at anjali.o@ians.in)

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