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Navy, coastguard being strengthened to protect maritime borders: Rajnath

The Central government is according top priority to strengthening maritime security, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Indian Navy (IN) and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) are being equipped with indigenous state-of-the-art ships and weapons to protect the maritime borders of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday.

Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence on ‘Defence Shipyards,’ he asserted that the Central government was according top priority to strengthening maritime security.

Commending defence shipyards for playing a crucial role in this direction, Rajnath said they have ensured timely delivery and quality of products, which was pivotal for building a strong military, and we are striving to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

He listed a number of initiatives taken by the government to encourage indigenous manufacturing of weapons/products and minimise imports by DPSUs. The initiatives include notification of Positive Indigenisation Lists comprising Major Line Replacement Units/Sub-systems and the SRIJAN portal.

“The SRIJAN portal was launched on 14 August 2020 to promote indigenisation. As on 30 September 2022, there are 783 items of shipyards on the portal. These items were earlier imported and their indigenous vendors were not available. The shipyards have, so far, been able to successfully indigenise 73 items from the list. Indigenisation efforts for the remaining items are in progress in collaboration with industry partners,” said the minister.

He also lauded the defence shipyards for strengthening the country’s economy. “During 2021-22, the Value of Production of these shipyards was Rs 8,925 crores and Profit After Tax was Rs 928 crore. Presently, the order book position of these shipyards is Rs 81,777 crores,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also appreciated the fact that procurement through Government e Marketplace (GeM) was increasing in the shipyards, which has not only provided a boost to domestic products but also ensured transparency in procurement.

The minister exuded confidence that soon the shipyards would not only meet the domestic requirements but also earn export orders on a competitive basis. He hoped that these shipyards would continue to adapt themselves to the changing environment and achieve the desired results. Friendly countries have appreciated the quality of the platforms manufactured by these shipyards, he added.