Private Sector has a definite role in the Defence Sector. It could bring the Industry to global standards provided level playing field is ensured. DPSUs, OFB, DRDO and Other Agencies have a distinct edge in the matter for various reasons, and especially the fact that they have been on the 'scene' for long.
It is these reasons that has kept the Private Defence Participation limited since the opening of the Defence Sector for Private participation in 2001. What are the chances of my selling to the Defence even if my product / service is of global or high standard, homegrown, and price-competitive ? Are there any factors beyond pure competition at play ?
Access and Openness of the Govt. Executives to the Private Sector still remains elusive. Can we set-up an Organisation open to the Industry located somewhere in the private domain, like Pragati Maidan, CP and the Like nation-wide within security constraints ; after all everything is not SECRET. That would definitely usher a new era in the Sector.
Use e-Governance extensively in non-strategic areas. We do so much of 'black-collared' work for the world in IT, let Us do it for ourselves also to bring efficiency, transparency, and best-of-the-breed-practices for the Indian Defence.
Defence Minister's recent thoughts on permitting 49% FDI in the Defence Sector on case-to-case basis in case the Industry can convince the Govt is welcome ! But let it also reach the Private Sector and be not 'cornered' by the Govt Agencies which are already funded heavily by the Govt. And do not forget the MSMEs which are the vehicles for innovative, high-tech, and knowledge economy. 49% FDI would help in Offsets greatly.
Presently, 26% FDI is permitted in the Defence Sector.
Brigadier (Retired) Sukhwindar Singh