Govt to promote city as Defence Production, Civil Aviation Hub

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Feb 2018 09:43:34


Staff Reporter,

Positioning Nagpur as the emerging Defence Production hub and Civil Aviation Hub of India including favourite destination for aircraft maintenance, Maharashtra Government on Tuesday approved a ambitious defence and aerospace production policy, to attract $2 billion investment during next five years with potential to create one lakh jobs.
In the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, it was decided to showcase Nagpur, Pune, Nasik, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar as defence production centres and particularly civil aviation hubs while promoting Maintenance and Repair Overhaul (MRO) set-up at MIHAN-SEZ. Nagpur has potential to emerge as the key MRO in South East and Central India.

The MRO is in close vicinity of airport with cargo handling facility and is attracting manufacturing units producing high-value cargo. Air and road connectivity in addition to dry port will boost Nagpur’s prospect as next destination for industrial development.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed that many international giants have evinced keen interest in setting up their manufacturing facilities here at MIHAN-SEZ and additional land acquired at New Butibori. Apart from Anil Ambani group which is investing Rs 6,000 crore to set up Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park and defence city in association with Rafale which wants to manufacture light helicopters here, many more international aircraft and defence equipment manufacturing units have also conducted preliminary studies to explore potential of Nagpur to set up their facilities. Due to stipulation of minimum 40 per cent manufacturing in India, Nagpur has emerged as the key choice for many global companies due to its strategic location, availability of land and industrial infrastructure.

Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his successor Nirmala Sitharaman have also promised to project Nagpur as major destination of defence manufacturing. Within a radius of 200 kms, many Ordnance Factories are located and Nagpur has National Academy of Defence Production making city an ideal place for defence manufacturers.

Chief Minister Fadnavis is also trying to bring Svenska Aeroplan AB (SAAB), a Swedish aerospace and defence company and invited them to invest in Maharashtra. Hakan Buskhe, president and CEO of the firm, had promised to work closely in Maharashtra. Officials of SAAB had visited Nashik and Nagpur last year and explored the potential.

Under the policy approved, the state government will create a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to provide initial working capital to the small and medium enterprises in defence and aerospace. The policy offers incentives to public sector undertakings in this sector to facilitate establishment of ‘anchor units’ that would develop market and ecosystem for the MSMEs. The policy also mooted reimbursement of stamp duty, establishment of exclusive industrial townships and rationalisation of industrial laws.

The corpus of Rs1,000 crore would be managed by a professional fund manager and used to provide working capital for the MSMEs in this sector.
The state plans to contribute substantially to the union government’s target to reduce India’s dependence on defence and aerospace imports from the current 70% to 30%. The policy will offer financial concessions and incentives to develop indigenous technologies in this sector and establish “anchor units” to build an ecosystem.

India’s defence expenditure has increased by 231 per cent in last one decade and in coming 10 years is expected to touch 120 billion dollars. Similarly global aerospace industry is worth 1,000 billion dollar with 3-4 % annual growth. Most of this growth is due to expanding aerospace sector of developing countries like India and hence indigenous production is also expected to witness more than 10 % annual growth and to touch turnover of 16 billion dollars. Number of aircrafts are likely to be doubled by 2020 for which massive MRO facilities will be required. To tap this market, the State Government’s defence and aerospace policy is a step in right direction, claimed Government.

Seminar today to boost Defence Hub in Vidarbha

The Vidarbha Defence Industrial Hub has organised a brain storming validation seminar on Wednesday morning at Udyog Bhavan to setup a defence cluster at Nagpur. The seminar theme is “Validation of Vidarbha Defence Industrial Hub Engineering Cluster” under “Magnetic Maharashtra.” A big opportunity is afforded for MSMEs in design, development and manufacture of indigenous products in aerospace and defence sector, the VDIH claimed. The seminar has been organised in association with Directorate of Industries is keeping in tune with the ‘Magnetic Maharashtra” initiative by Government of Maharashtra.

“UDAN” a novel initiative to train 50,000 youth from Vidarbha Region, in next four years in high end and high technology skill development is taking shape at MIHAN, in the near future. The initiative is propelled by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari under PPP model with Tata Technologies Ltd., Vidarbha Defence Industrial Hub and Government of Maharashtra and will commence from June 2018. It is being spearheaded by Lt. Gen. (retd) Ravi Thodge who was MGO and Consultant to Ministry of Defence for defence indigenisation.

It is proposed to train youth from Engineering Colleges and ITIs and enable them a smooth entry into the job market globally. This facility will be created in MIHAN in four major spheres of Aviation, Aerospace, Ammunition and Automobiles. This will be supported by a state of the art innovation and incubation centre with the help of Tata Technologies Ltd.

The dire need of skilled manpower along with lack of exposure to the acquisition processes and non adherence to manufacturing standards has not helped the region to tap the emerging opportunities in defence procurement and the seminar is expected to address this critical area. Though registration is compulsory, entry is free and by invitation for industries affiliated and seeking opportunity to align with Make In India in Defence, ancillary units, Start ups, consultants, Industries in search of diversification opportunities like IT, Engineering, Electronics, Precision Components, Sheet Metals, Castings, Forgings, Plastics, Chemicals, Technical Textiles /Garment Manufacturing, etc.