TIRUCHY: Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday inaugurated the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, a major project that is likely to promote indigenous production of defence equipment. Tamil Nadu has reportedly bagged investments worth 3,123.5 crore through the project.
Industry leaders feel that the corridor, which connects Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchy, will help the State become a major defence manufacturing hub. Over 500 industry representatives, Vice Chief of Army, Navy and Air Force and senior officials attended the launch event.
The Ordnance Factory Board has announced an investment of around 2,305 crore along the corridor, while other public sector units like Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) have promised to invest over 100 crore in the State. Private companies such as TVS and Alpha Designs announced projects worth 50 crore and 100 crore respectively.
International aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and homegrown manufacturer Lakshmi Machine Works have also promised investments. In total, 10 private companies announced their plans to invest in aerospace, missile technology, rifle production and other defence production sectors during the launch event.
Though the manufacturing firms have not specifically mentioned where they would start their units, some ideal spots were listed out for them.
‘Private players won’t affect defence PSUs’
“Government is having about 1,000 acres of land in Manapparai, 1,300 acres in Krishnagiri, 1,000 acres in Dharmapuri and 900 acres in Hosur. Our government is willing to offer all the necessary support to the industries in making the investment,” Sampath assured.
With almost four lakh employees working in Ordnance Factories and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) planning to start three-day nationwide strike on Wednesday (January 23) against privatisation, Nirmala Sitaraman assured there was no threat to the future of any PSU.
“Entry of private players will not affect PSUs. The Defence sector will continue to place orders to the PSUs as usual. The union have the right to strike. But, the government is open for a solution,” Nirmala Sitaraman said. Also, the minister hit back at Congress on Rafale issue. “We have explained everything about Rafale in Parliament. But, the opposition was not paying heed,” Nirmala Sitaraman pointed out.
Incubation centre Defence Minister also launched the “CODISSIA Defence Innovation and Incubation Centre” to support the MSMEs, Start-Ups and also the existing industries in their endeavour for defence indigenisation