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Defence minister reviews performance of four shipbuilding PSUs

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday held review meetings with four shipbuilding public sector units (PSUs) wherein their senior officials apprised him about the companies' current activities and future plans, a government statement said.

Singh appreciated the improvement in performance of these PSUs -- Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) -- over the years and urged them to further strive to become "world-class and compete at the international level", the statement noted.

"Appreciating the indigenization levels achieved by these defence PSUs, Raksha Mantri urged them to explore further avenues in the push for 'Make in India'. He also called for full capacity utilisation and exploring new modes of business models to increase exports," it stated.

Senior officials of these companies gave presentations to the minister in separate meetings and "apprised him about their current activities and future plans", the statement said.

The GRSE has a significant presence in the segment of Bailey bridges -- a type of pre-fabricated and portable bridge -- with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) being the prime customer.

"GRSE is exporting such bridges to friendly neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh," the statement noted. The company has the "distinction" of delivering more than 100 warships to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, it added.

The MDL has successfully indigenized certain equipment such as "sonar dome, ship installed chemical agent detection system... main batteries for Scorpene submarines, multiple cable transit glands" on a no-cost no-commitment basis.

A no-cost, no-commitment (NCNC) rule means that the government neither bears the cost of the trials nor is it committed to buy the products after the trials.

According to the statement, the GSL has made significant inroads into global markets with export of diverse vessels to Indian Ocean Region (IOR) countries.

"Till date, the shipyard (GSL) has exported 36 vessels and a damage control simulator to friendly foreign countries," the statement mentioned.

The GSL has signed agreements with NBCC in the field of project management consultancy, with Larsen & Toubro to jointly produce defence equipment for both domestic as well as export market, with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in the field of composites and exports of defence products, the statement said.

Regarding Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), the statement said with "best productivity measures and improved morale", the company has undergone a major turnaround by achieving operating and net profit for the last four consecutive years -- 2015-16 to 2018-19 -- after a gap of 65 years without any financial assistance or grant from the government.

The revenue from operations of HSL has increased year-on-year during the last four years, the statement noted.

"The profit after tax has increased by 73 per cent during 2018-19 when compared with previous year... The HSL has emerged as the lowest bidder (L1) in the competitive tendering process for 3 tenders during the 2018-19," it added.

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