Huge potential for Indian industry in defence sector: DRDO chief

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HYDERABAD, November 5:  The Indian industry could tap huge opportunities over the next 10-15 years with the Defence Research and Development Organisation planning to develop products worth Rs. 2 lakh crore, including missiles worth Rs. 60,000 crore, according to Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General Avinash Chander here on Monday.

Mr. Avinash was speaking at a function where Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy laid the foundation stone for the Samuha Aerospace Park at Adibatla in Ranga Reddy district. It is the country’s first such park.

He said Indian defence requirements were growing steadily and greater growth was expected in the next 10-15 years. He said DRDO had recently participated in a defence expo in South Korea and a lot of interest was evinced in its products. DRDO was exporting ship-borne sonars to Myanmar and was ready to export many other products, he added.

Mr. Reddy, who was the chief guest, asked Samuha to establish a training centre to provide jobs to locals, besides taking up CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities like establishing a school. He said investment proposals worth Rs.1.35 lakh crore for 73 projects, which were cleared by the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB), were in different stages of implementation. Among others, he mentioned that Pepsi and Cadburys were setting up plants with an investment of Rs.1,500 crore and Rs.2,500 crore respectively in Chittoor district, while Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson were establishing units in Mahabubnagar district. Mr. Reddy agreed to a proposal for naming the area as “Space City”.

Earlier, speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for Integrated White Gold Spintex Park, Union Minister for Textiles Kavuri Sambasiva Rao agreed to the plea of the Chief Minister to set up cotton purchase centres to buy cotton bales damaged in the recent heavy rains and floods. He said the Cotton Corporation of India would be directed to establish them in Adilabad, Mahabubnagar, Nalogonda, Guntur and other places. He stressed the need to provide training and skill sets to rural youth for providing employment.

Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Panabaka Lakshmi said both the Centre and State governments were helping the farmers in turning cotton into white gold. She said the Finance Commission had set aside Rs.1,900 crore for development of skill sets in textile sector.

Lauding the integrated approach of White Gold Spintex Park, the Chief Minister said that AP was second in cotton production in the country

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