Vedanta urges corporatisation of defence PSUs

Industry liberalization needed to make India self-reliant in arms, ammunition: Agarwal

Industry liberalization needed to make India self-reliant in arms, ammunition: Agarwal

Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal on Saturday pushed for further liberalization of the defense sector and called for the privatization of defense factories to make the country self-reliant in the field of weapons and ammunition.

There are 52 defense factories producing weapons and ammunition in the country, but most are running at 10% capacity, he said.

“We (India) can be the largest producer of arms and ammunition. If the defense factories become autonomous, it will bring about a new way of thinking,” said Mr Agarwal, speaking about the inauguration of a postgraduate program for executives , almost from London .

Vedanta hopes to begin semiconductor manufacturing in India within the next two years, he said.

“Semiconductors are like the sutradhar (facilitator) for any industry. In the next two years, we should start semiconductor manufacturing in India,” he said in response to a question.

The company had signed an MoU with Foxconn in February this year to form a joint venture for semiconductor manufacturing in India.

Mr Agarwal stated that there is a huge outflow in terms of imports of oil and defense products into India, and remained optimistic about oil and gas production from India as it has a reserve of 300 billion barrels of oil reserves.

“We need to produce at least 50% of the energy security requirement,” said Mr Agarwal.

He expressed his optimism about the privatization of the bauxite mine, as India has huge potential for aluminum production as demand will shift from steel in various applications.

“Bauxite mining will open in the next one to two years,” he said.

www.thehindu.com

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