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Defence deals for pvt military, aviation industry

NEW DELHI (PTI): The offsets policy initiated by the government has benefited India's private military and aviation industry which got contracts worth over Rs 14,000 crore in last few years and can look towards getting business of few lakh crore more as the sector opens up further.

As per the offsets policy, foreign vendors bagging any deal worth over Rs 300 crore have to invest at least 30 per cent of the worth of the deal in the Indian industry only, Defence Procurement Procedure, Secretary (Defence Production) R K Mathur told reporters here.

With India looking to spend over Rs 15 lakh crore in defence procurements in the next few years, the value of offsets is expected to be around Rs 5 lakh crore with a significant amount of the business likely to go to the private industry.

Ministry officials said the value of export No Objection Certificates (NOCs) has also gone up from Rs 39 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 140 crore in 2011-12. The value of these NOCs is expected to go up in this and the coming fiscal, they said.

Asked about the status of indigenous development of the Bofors howitzers by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Mathur said recently trials were held to check stability of the gun.

Firing was carried out and they were found to be satisfactory.

He said the Army wants the trials to be done by June this year but the OFB has set the March deadline for the purpose.

On whether the Government would consider buying howitzers produced by the local private industry also, he said, "There have been RFP (Request for Proposal) retractions in the last few years. The demand is so huge that there is space for everyone."

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