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Anil Ambani announces Rs.5,000 crore new defence investment

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New Delhi: With the recent acquisition of Pipavav Defence, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani announced on Thursday that an additional investment of Rs.5,000 crore will be made as part of India’s emphasis on “Make in India” for military hardware and cut imports.

He also underscored the need for larger public-private partnerships in the defence domain, and called for pooling of resources so that India becomes self-reliant in protecting its boundaries and cuts reduces its dependence on the global markets.Credits: https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB1qFQoTCIzhq76038YCFQlwjgodT10DkQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wharton.upenn.edu%2F125anniversaryissue%2Fambani.html&ei=E4OnVcyLCYnguQTPuo2ICQ&bvm=bv.97949915,d.c2E&psig=AFQjCNGMFw6B-S3yAE3is9AJqPKKhaUAbg&ust=1437127716377216

Quoting extensively from the experiences he gained from his late father, the legendary industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani, the Reliance Group chairman said his father’s vision was to meet the aspirations of generations with self reliance, adding that the Make in India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a major step towards that.

“This initiative of the government redefines the defence ecosystem in India with our Navy in the lead… For a country with one of the longest coastlines in the region and vast expanse of territories over the seas, self reliance in naval capabilities is an ever challenging imperative,” he said.

The Reliance Group chairman said the acquisition of the Pipavav Defence Company in Gujarat with assets worth more than Rs.10,000 crore was his company’s contribution towards self reliance.

“Pipavav has the largest dry dock in the country and the second largest in the world. With more than 30 lakh sq ft of covered area for fabrication and integration alone, this is perhaps the largest single location defence manufacturing facility in India,” he said.

“We will invest an additional Rs.5,000 crore over the next few years as part of our commitment towards indigenisation efforts.”

He said that the Pipavav facility will be capable to deliver “all requirements of the Indian Navy from frigates to aircraft carriers to submarines”.

Russia, meanwhile, has chosen Pipav as a partner to build three updated versions of Talwar-class frigates, likely to be the biggest-ever warship-building project for private sector in India worth around $3-$3.5 crore.

Ambani said self reliance in defence is also needed so that India does not have to compromise on its foreign policy.

“Large part of our Defence inventory have dependency on global relations. This creates limitations and sub-serves our foreign policy. Self-reliance gives us the flexibility to pursue our foreign policy objectives,” he said.

He said since the sole consumer for domestic defence hardware was the government, “specific measures towards ease of doing business will encourage industry participation”. Accordingly, he suggested an advisory committee with chief executives from public and private sectors to meet regulary to “align and converge the understanding and aspirations of all stakeholders”.

“There is need to institutionalise private sector participation not only for indigenisation but the entire spectrum of defence production through groups comprising Private Sector companies and PSUs at MoD to pool resources,” he said also suggesting a separate joint secretary in the defence ministry for the private sector.

“Today, in the ministry of Defence we have joint secretaries responsible for different public sector undertakings. I believe there is a case for a joint secretary exclusively to engage at the business level with the private sector,” he said.

Ambani also expressed hope that the updated defence procurement procedure (DPP) will help “in ease of doing business with MoD… Transparent, fair procedures and processes creates a favourable climate, encourage competitiveness and eventually deliver the best overall value for the country,” he said.

Another suggestion from the industrialist was to introduce courses at IITs, IIMs and other higher learning institution related to the requirements of the defence industry.

(IANS)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

Also Read: Water Crisis is Increasing in Cape Town, Red Alert For Africa 

He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)