India aims at achieving a high level of indigenisation of defence production and this could be achieved through increased private participation, defence minister A K Antony said while inaugurating DefExpo 2012 in the capital today.
''Our quest for self-reliance in defence underlines the growing importance of private sector participation on the one hand, and revitalising the public sector on the other. Our emphasis is on public-private sector partnership in the defence industry,'' he said, adding that the government has put in place an enabling policy framework to develop indigenous capabilities through harnessing the potential and utilising resources available, both in the public and the private sector.
''Our defence industry is now open up to 100 per cent for Indian private sector participation, while foreign direct investment is permissible up to 26 per cent,'' he noted.
He said the government has been periodically reviewing the defence procurement procedures to usher in greater transparency and speed in the defence acquisition process.
Towards this, the government has introduced a ''Buy & Make (Indian)'' category in defence procurement procedures in order to encourage proactive participation of the Indian industry by way of forming joint ventures with foreign manufacturers, he said.
Offset banking is also permissible in the country's defence offset policy, the scope of which has now been expanded to include civil aerospace, internal security and training within the ambit of eligible products and services for discharge of offset obligations. The licensing condition has already been rationalised.