Monday, September 26, 2011

MoD Puts On Hold Joint Venture Of MDL, Government To Bring Out Policy On Formation Of JVs Soon : Antony

Describing the 26/11 incident as a watershed moment for the country’s defence establishment, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today said we have come a long way since then. Addressing the meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his ministry here, Shri Antony said he had asked the Navy to prepare a comprehensive action plan for the security of our Island territories as well.

Shri Antony said the country’s defence policy is based on our own threat perception. He said a sensitive and dangerous neighbourhood has created a complex security environment. Added to this is international trade and energy requirements which necessitate that we have to ensure secure sea lanes of communication.

Giving details of the massive efforts that have been made by the government to beef up coastal security, Shri Antony said the capital expenditure for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard has been doubled in the past three years following the 26/11 tragic incident.

The Defence Minister did not agree with the suggestion that India should follow a policy of hot pursuit against Somalian pirates. Shri Antony said ‘that’s not our policy’. He said twenty Navies of the world are operating in the Gulf of Aden and India is also cooperating with them. He, however, emphasized that a joint effort under the aegis of the United Nations may yield better results.

The Defence Minister also informed the Members that the ministry had decided to put on hold the joint venture of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) till a policy on JVs is put in place by the Government. Shri Antony said the ministry will study the complaints received from some private shipyards regarding the JV. ‘The issue needs to be fully examined and settled before any forward movement takes place on this front. He also said that JVs must compete for contracts and should not get them on nomination basis. Shri Antony said we are treading on a new path and we would like to ensure that transparency is maintained at all levels.

The meeting was attended among others by Shri Naveen Jindal, Shri Shivaji Adhalrao Patil, Shri Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, Shri Harsh Vardhan, Shri Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, Shri Gopal Singh
Shekhawat, Dr Janardhan Waghmare, Shri Balwant Alias Bal Apta, Shri HK Dua, Shri Ishwarlal Jain and Shri Piyush Goyal.

The Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma, Secretary Defence Production Shri Shekhar Aggarwal, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral RK Dhowan, DG Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Senior officials of the Ministry of Defence, Navy and Coast Guard attended the meeting.

Sitanshu Kar

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