Small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, comprising 28 million entrepreneurs in India, will get a shot in the arm with the implementation of the new defence production policy.The policy unveiled by defence minister AK Anthony on January 13, has for the first time given special emphasis on the SME sector for supplying equipment, machineries and general consumables to the sector.
Once the policy gets implemented, it will benefit thousands of SME entrepreneurs across India, especially from non-metro and smaller cities.
"Policy aims towards adding SMEs in the supply chain of high technology products and services related to defence sector, as SMEs are real component of indigenisation," said a senior official in the ministry of defence.
"The government will set up a separate fund to provide necessary resources to SMEs to support innovation and R&D activities."
"We are identifying the areas, where the ministry's intervention is needed and trying to educate entrepreneurs on emerging opportunities through various programmes," said Uday Kumar Varma, secretary, the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
To facilitate entrepreneurs, the MSME ministry will organise an exhibition in Hyderabad on sub-contracting and supply for defence.
Nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs in the country are engaged in manufacturing of equipment needed in the defence sector.
The department of defence production and federation of Indian micro, small & medium enterprises (FISME) has initiated the process of identification for intervention to operationalise the policy for the small and medium enterprises.
"The policy creates a level playing field for SMEs with defence PSUs and foreign suppliers, and this will lead to an increase in entrepreneurs manufacturing for defence sector," said Anil Bhardwaj, FISME, secretary general.