There is no plan to build a new defense industrial corridor in the nation. Govt

There is no plan to build a new defense industrial corridor in the nation. Govt

Parliament was told on Friday that there is no plan to create a new defense industrial corridor in the nation.

This was said in a written answer to a question in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt.

In order to create a comprehensive defense manufacturing ecosystem in the nation, the government announced the creation of two defense industrial corridors (DICs) in its budget for 2018–19, he added.

In Uttar Pradesh, there is one corridor with six nodes: Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, and Lucknow. According to him, the second has five nodes in Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem, and Tiruchirappalli.

According to data from the Uttar Pradesh government, 108 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with businesses and organizations, with a total potential investment of Rs 12,191 crore. The Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor (UPDIC) has already received investments totaling Rs 2,445 crore, he added.

Also, according to information from the Tamil Nadu government, agreements have been reached with 53 businesses for a possible investment of Rs 11,794 crore. The minister said that investments of Rs 3,894 crore had already been made in the TNDIC (Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor).

When asked whether there was a plan to create additional defense industrial corridors in the nation, Bhatt said that no new defense industrial corridors were proposed.

The minister responded, "The information sought is sensitive in nature and cannot be divulged on the floor of the House in the interest of the national security. Is it true that more than a dozen papers have been submitted by DGPs and IGPs in the recently concluded conference conducted by Intelligence Bureau on the subject "Chinese influence in the neighborhood and implications for India"?"

He responded to a different question by saying, "The information sought is sensitive in nature and cannot be divulged on the floor of the House in the interest of the national security," in reference to whether Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is in discussions with various nations to sell its light combat aircraft Tejas.

In a separate written inquiry, the minister of state for defense was asked whether the government had decreased the building limitations around defense facilities from 500 meters to merely 50 meters.

"The revised NoC guidelines issued by MoD on 23.12.2022 reducing the restricted distance in vicinity of defense establishments of the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard at specific locations to 50 meters have been kept in abeyance until standard operating procedure is formulated in consultation with stakeholders for issue of NoCs," he stated in his written response.

In response to a written inquiry on whether one rank one pension (OROP) arrears had been paid to eligible retired military personnel, the minister said that, in accordance with government policy, such payments were now being made.

As to 13.03.2023, Rs 5,065.70 crore has already been paid as OROP arrears to qualified pensioners in the armed forces, he said.

The minister was further questioned with specifics of private businesses operating in the defense industry.

"In May 2001, the defense industrial sector was opened up to 100% private sector involvement in India. In a written answer, the minister said that 368 businesses engaged in the defense industry had received a total of 601 industrial permits since the opening up of the sector.

Bhatt also provided his written answer on the question of whether the military and other law enforcement agencies should wear bulletproof vests and helmets.

According to him, the government sometimes buys bulletproof jackets and helmets from local producers for the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies.

They are acquired following careful testing and assessment in accordance with established requirements and authorisation. In response, he said that the Central Armed Police Forces and Indian Army's acquisition of bulletproof helmets "complies with the standards and NIJ (National Institute of Justice of USA) protection/threat levels authorized by the appropriate authorities."

Upgrades, purchases, and distribution of upgraded versions of bulletproof clothing and helmets are ongoing processes for which appropriate actions are routinely conducted.