Bipin Rawat says India focusing on manufacturing weapons within country, backs decision to not intervene in Maldives

New Delhi: India has depended on the import of weapons, but now, it is focusing on manufacturing weapons in the country with the transfer of technology, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Tuesday. The armed forces have also been relying on ordnance factories, but the picture is now changing, he said.

"We have always depended on import of equipment in our country. And therefore, what happened was, we did not allow the indigenous industry to develop," Rawat said.

File image of Army chief Bipin Rawat. News18

File image of Bipin Rawat. News18

The army had told a parliamentary panel that the funds allocated to it in the defence budget for the next fiscal is insufficient to deal with various security challenges facing the country, including from a more assertive China along the northern border and from a hostile Pakistan on the western frontier.  Both China as well as Pakistan were carrying out modernisation of their defence forces in "full swing", the army had said. Rawat's comments were in response to a question in this regard. To step up defence production within the country, India is looking at collaborating with other nations, he said.

Rawat added that the Request for Information (RFI) has been issued for nine types of very high quality ammunition so that they can be manufactured in our country with transfer of technology.

The army chief also discussed India's decision to not intervene militarily in the on-going Maldivian crisis and said that the decision was well thought out, but only time will tell whether it was the right step or not.

"I am quite sure that diplomats and political entity in the country did look at Maldives and did what they thought was the best for them. How this will pan out in future, let's wait and watch," Rawat said. He was responding to a question on whether India should militarily intervene in the Maldivian crisis amidst growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region and its proximity with the archipelago nation.

Maldives has been witnessing a political crisis after an emergency was declared in the island nation by its President Abdulla Yameen. India has expressed its displeasure over the development. "Did we do the right thing by not stepping in? Only time will tell. I am quite sure that whoever took a decision on whether we should intervene in Maldives or not it must have taken a well-thought out decision. We should wait and watch and not jump the gun," he added.

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Updated Date: Mar 14, 2018 13:27:59 IST

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