QUEPEM (GOA): While crediting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with understanding the defence industry very well, Ashok Wadhawan, President of Punj Lloyd said that the ministry should ensure that the process of defence proposal is shortened. “Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar needs to look at continuity of the forces who are involved in the procurement process. Today, there is a different person from the forces to look at the request for proposal (RFP) and a different one to look at continuity of the forces who are involved in the procurement process. Today, there is a different person from the forces to look at the request for proposal (RFP) and a different one to look into the trials, which prolongs a deal,” he told Economictimes.com at Defence Expo 2016.
Confident of getting Indian Army’s project to upgrade its ageing Zu 23 2B air defence guns, Wadhawan said,” Replacement of air defence guns is something which we will feel very confident about, as we are the only private sector which has experience in this. So, the process of both upgradation and replacement becomes very easy for us.” Wadhawan said that Punj Lloyd has already been declared as L1 (lowest number 1) in the tender and is in the last stage of signing the contract which is likely to get finalised in the month of April.
What is the size of the export potential Punj Lloyd is eyeing? Wadhawan says, huge. “Once we get clearance to upgrade Zu guns for Government of India, I think our export prospects get better,” says Wadhawan. He also said that the company is looking at exporting components for small arms, which is reason it has signed a joint venture with Israel Weapon Industries. The company will also go ahead with the production of small arms which will be pitched to export as well, he said.
Giving thumbs up to the new defence procurement policy (DPP), Wadhawan said,”The new DPP is very good and forward looking. The Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) category under the new policy will be a game changer.”