New Delhi: Acting in consonance with the recommendations of a committee, headed by Vijay Kelkar, the ministry of defence may now recommend the names of some India Inc heavyweights, such as Tata Motors, Godrej & Boyce, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, Ashok Leyland and Bharat Forge, as being the country's 'Raksha Udyog Ratna's' (RURs). The new status, if conferred, would allow these entities to utilize the same benefits as defence-related public sector units (PSUs).
It is being given to understand that the government may have drawn up a list of 12 such entities.
An RUR status would not only enable these entities to start production by accessing defence-related technologies at home, but also make them eligible for transfer of technology from overseas sources, particularly through offset related programmes. So far, this area of activity has been the exclusive preserve of defence PSUs. If the government acts on the recommendations made by the Kelkar committee in this regard the selected Indian private sector companies will also be able to participate in all defence tenders issued by the government.
For the current fiscal, India's defence budget of Rs96,000 crore has set aside Rs27,000 crore towards capital expenditure, which includes acquisition of weapons systems.