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Reduce dependence on foreign firms, says General Singh

New Delhi, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 30 (ANI): Army Chief General V.K. Singh on Friday said that dependence on foreign firms must be reduced.

Addressing a defence-related event at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here, General Singh said: "We source 70 percent of equipment from outside and need to reduce this dependence. Defence is trying to reduce dependence on foreign firms. We need to be self-reliant and maintain independent capability."

General Singh further said the issue of private sector participation had been debated for a long time, and there was a need for closer coordination between the industry and the armed forces for long term investment.

"The demand of private participation has gone up in the recent times. Joint ventures must go to joint design and joint production. Private industry would not invest if there are no gains. So, there needs to be more coordination," he added.

On Thursday Defence Minister A.K Antony said that six companies - four foreign and two Indian - have been blacklisted from the defence procurement process for ten years for alleged involvement in a multi-crore ordnance factory scam.

"Six companies have been blacklisted for 10 years by the government. The banned entities included four foreign companies and two Indian companies and the action against them was taken following recommendations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)," Antony said at a press conference.

"In the process of procurement, if it is established at any stage of the contract that there is malpractice then we will cancel the contract. Even after signing the contract if anything is found we will take action, we have very strong safe guards," he said.

The six blacklisted companies include the Singapore Technologies, Israeli Military Industry, Germany's Rheinmetall Air Defence, Corporation Defence of Russia, Delhi-based T S Kisan and Co Pvt Ltd and R K Machine Tools of Ludhiana. (ANI)

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