BEML to set up a Centre of Excellence for Railways in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, 04th March 2018: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), organised a seminar on ‘Opportunities for Industry in Defence’ at the BEL Campus, in Bengaluru today. The discussions focused on Defence Production Policy interventions, Infrastructure requirements and Policy incentives related to the Defence Industrial Corridors. The highlight of the Seminar was the session on Participation of India Inc in Indigenisation and Modernization of the Indian Armed Forces where various stakeholders discussed on how the industry can play a major role in the transformation of Indian armed forces.

Mr.Darpan Jain, IAS, Commissioner for Industrial Development and Director,Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka said that the government isvery keen to ensure that the defence corridor develops in Karnataka. He addedthat Karnataka’s industrial policy aims to promote investment and employmentgeneration. The state has set a target to get investment of at least Rs. 1 Lakhcrore every year and employment generation of at least 3 lakhs per year overthe next 5 years. To accomplish this the government of Karnataka is focused on5 key areas i.e. building good infrastructure, promoting industry throughincentives, technology, SME’s and ease of business.

Speaking onincentives he said that the government is giving incentives in various formsand one of the very critical incentives for industry is loans in view of SGST,however GST is consumption focused where the state collects only what itconsumes, depriving the state of taxes as major defence production takes placein Karnataka but the consumption is out of the state, making it difficult toincentivize the industry.

Mr DeepakKumar Hota, CMD, BEML, said that today 47% of all Metro coaches in India are made byBEML. He added that India is at the crossroads of huge economic growth and forthe country to capitalize on this we need to ensure employment for our hugedemographic dividend. We require the right policies to catalyse industry andensure employment. The government needs to concentrate on developing the rightskillset among our employable youth. Industry needs to look at how it cancollaborate and work together to bring about indigenization in defence sector.

Withthe Railways and theDepartment of Science and Technology, BEML is setting up a centre of excellencein Bengaluru with an investment of 300 crores. He called on theKarnataka Government to participate in the project which will soon be a worldclass testing facility for railway equipments and coaches.

Stating thatBEL is committed to indigenous manufacturing of defence equipments Mr.M V Gowtama, CMD, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) said that in BELover 60% of materials are sourced from Indian industry. BEL today has 1280 SMEsin its approved vendor directory and the outsourcing from SMEs is about 30%.The opportunity in Indian defence sector is enormous and technology plays amajor role in this sector. Industry needs continuous investment in improvingtheir products to stay ahead and remain competitive. Several defence PSUs areattaining double digit growth in India and the private industry can grow muchfaster than this.

Lt GenSubrata Saha, PVSM, UYSM, YSM, VSM (Retd), Director General, SIDM said that by 2025 India will bea USD 5 trillion economy. To protect such an economy the country needs strongarmed forces and for our forces to be strong and sustainable we need to ensurethat we Indigenise as soon as possible. Currently for the 5th year runningIndia is the largest arms importer in the world, making the country overreliant on foreign powers. He called on all stakeholders to come together tobuild the defence sector in the country.

According tohim, SIDM aims to catalyse the Indian Defence industry to become an effectivecontributor to India’s National Security and a trustworthy global partner. SIDMis working closely with the Government towards creating an enabling environmentto support the growth of the defence industry. It will actively engage with theMinistry of Defence for policy advocacy. The SIDM will interface with expertsfrom the armed forces, academia and industry to get the right operational andscientific drive for developing capabilities in the indigenous defenceindustry. The Society will facilitate growth of the industry by providingadvice on strategy, innovation, indigenisation, explore opportunities inemerging technologies, policy advocacy, policy and market research, progressadvocacy, global linkages export promotion, issue-based consultancy, educationand skill development.

According toDr. N Muthukumar Chairman, CII Karnataka, in the next 10 years, anestimated, INR 5 lakh crore ($ 100 billion) will be invested on acquisitions inaerospace and defence sectors in India. The Indian aerospace sector is expectedto become the 3rd largest aerospace industry in the world by 2020. The robustgrowth potential of the industry attracts original equipment manufacturers(OEMs) in this sector to setup facilities in India and the companies who havemade their capital investments are looking at CAGR of nearly 50 per cent everyyear. Indian industry today is on the threshold of entering a new era where itwill assume greater responsibility in making the nation self-reliant in DefenceProduction.

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