Gujarat to become defense manufacturing hub of India

Manufacturing is considered Gujarat’s strength, but the state figured nowhere on the defense manufacturing map of India two years back.The scenario is set to change drastically as the state has now caught the fancy of private companies engaged in manufacturing defense equipments. As many as 22 licences have been granted for setting up defense manufacturing units in Gujarat, home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

If everything goes as planned, Gujarat will be manufacturing a host of defense equipment including light and medium artillery guns, armoured vehicles, medium tanks, helicopters, aircrafts and their parts among other things.Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense Systems and Pipavav Defense and Offshore Engineering, AMW Motors, Asteria Aerospace, Fedders Lloyd Corporation and Modest Infrastructure have already received industrial licences for setting up their units in Gujarat.Among other prominent players in pipeline include Adani Group’s Adani Defense Systems.

This assumes importance as Gujarat managed to bag only five licences for establishing defense and explosive manufacturing units between 2001 and 2014.Only Pipavav Defense, erstwhile Pipavav Shipyard Ltd, was the only major name to have its unit in the state.

As per the data available with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, over 121 industrial licences in India have been cleared for the private players under `Make In India’ progamme to promote the defense manufacturing sector. Of this, 22 new licences have been granted to companies in Gujarat since May 2014, after Modi-led NDA government came to power.

“Companies have been issued licences for defense manufacturing units in Gujarat and these firms are capable of handling such projects. In fact, 50 small and medium enterprises from the state will be meeting defense contractors on Thursday during a two day Defense Conclave in Ahmedabad,” said Sanjay Kirloskar, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Western Region at the inauguration of the conclave in city on Wednesday .

Even the Gujarat government is ready with its defense policy . “We are just awaiting the announcement of national level policy for the sector as both state and center’s policies should complement each other,” said Manoj Aggarwal, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.

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