Seven new defence companies to play key role to curb imports: PM Narendra Modi

The creation of seven new defence companies that have been carved out of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will play a major role in curbing imports and making India self-dependent with the goal being to create a global brand of “strength, quality and reliability”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

At a function to dedicate the new entities to the nation-a long-pending project to revamp the OFB that battled with quality issues and cost overruns in the past decade-the PM said that the companies were ignored post Independence, making India a major weapons importing nation.

“These seven defence companies will play a major role in changing this situation,” the PM said in a virtual address at the dedication ceremony. The PM added that restructuring of OFB would provide more autonomy to nurture innovation, urging startups to collaborate with the new entities. “While competitive cost is our strength, quality and reliability should be our identity,” he said.

The PM said that in India, power is seen as a medium of creation and with the same spirit, the nation is moving towards greater strength.

“The objective of this restructuring is to transform ordnance factories into productive, and profitable assets”

— Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister

Describing the decision to convert OFB into seven defence companies as historic, defence minister Rajnath Singh said the move reflects the government’s resolve of achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. “The objective of this restructuring is to transform ordnance factories into productive, and profitable assets; improve expertise in product range; increase competitiveness; improve quality; enhance cost-efficiency and ensure self-reliance in defence preparedness,” he said.

The minister hoped that these new companies would not only play an important role in the defence manufacturing ecosystem but would also be engines of growth for the Indian economy. The seven new defence companies are: Munitions India (MIL); Armoured Vehicles Nigam (AVANI); Advanced Weapons and Equipment India (AWE India); Troop Comforts (TCL) (Troop Comfort Items); Yantra India (YIL); India Optel (IOL) and Gliders India (GIL).

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