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Posted at: Dec 29, 2018, 12:52 AM; last updated: Dec 29, 2018, 12:52 AM (IST)

Haryana pips Punjab in licences for defence production

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28

Over the past decade, the Central government has issued only four industrial licences for manufacturing of defence equipment to companies in Punjab, making it among the lowest in the country.

On the other hand, neighbouring Haryana has marched quite ahead with 27 industrial licences issued since 2008, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Defence.

Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have also pipped Punjab by bagging eight and five licences, respectively. The state with the highest tally is Telangana with 66 licences followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra with 57 and 42, respectively. A total of 335 licences have been issued to companies in 20 states and Union Territories in the country.

Successive state governments have in the past made claims to develop Punjab as a major defence production hub and have made attempts to come up with concept plans and draft policies.

All the companies in Punjab that have been granted licences are based within a single district, with three being located in Mohali’s industrial area and the fourth in the township’s periphery.

The firms in Mohali are engaged in producing items such as fire control systems, command and control systems, electronic warfare systems, jammers, communication equipment, software defined radios, embedded software, digital signal processing modules, radar components and shelters, while the one other is engaged in armouring and bullet-proofing of vehicles.

Haryana produces mini unmanned aerial vehicles, simulators and training aids, vehicles, torpedo and missile launch equipment, artillery systems, radar equipment, camouflage equipment and network-centric warfare components. A couple of firms in Himachal Pradesh are engaged in producing aviation components and bullet-proof jackets.

Applications for licences are examined by the Department of Defence Production’s standing committee on private sector participation in defence production which comprises representatives from the Ordnance Factory Board and defence public sector undertakings. Field evaluation trials and adherence to provisions of the Defence Procurement Procedure is mandatory. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is the designated authority to issue the licences.

As part of its efforts to promote defence manufacturing in the country and the ease of doing business, the government had, in July this year, extended the validity of the industrial licences to 15 years with provision for a further extension of three years. Earlier, the validity was seven years which had been extended to 10 years in April.

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