Our defence preparedness best deterrent, will guarantee peace: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said India`s defence preparedness is the “best deterrent” and will guarantee peace in the region.

“…Security requirements are dictated by the neighbourhood you have. Obviously, a view of the peculiar situation from the point of view of where we are located, our preparedness is the best deterrent which is certainly a guarantee for peace as far as our region is concerned,” Jaitley said after giving away the Raksha Mantri`s Awards for Excellence for the years 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The Minister said domestic defence manufacturing is also impacted by the security environment in the country.

“No country can indefinitely wage wars and battles only on the strength of trying to buy equipment from outside. Its security preparedness will be incomplete if we rely only on that.”

Jaitley noted that no country can indefinitely win wars and battles only on the strength of trying to buy imported equipment from outside and said, “I think history has provided us with an opportunity where now our emphasis has to be to improve on manufacturing and that is why the Prime Minister gave this great emphasis on the `Make in India` brand. Manufacturing abilities would be incomplete for a country like India unless we improve on our defence manufacturing.”

Jaitley said India needs to “unleash its full potential to concentrate on this area”.

“If you look at the kind of human resource we have there is no reason why we should not become a force to recon with. We are a country which is home to almost 17 per cent of global population. Having completed several decades after independence, we have now for three years in a row achieved the distinction to be among the fastest growing global economies,” the minister said.

“As the economy grows, a large part of the revenue has to be spent on defence preparedness…Now emphasis has to be on utilising our entire potential as a country,” he said.

Jaitley also said the recently approved Strategic Partnership model which aims at promoting private industry in defence manufacturing, will help in creating competition.

“Recent policy on strategic partners factors in both these. The capacity of DPSUs and their order profiles to keep them busy will also be taken into consideration… We also need to explore defence manufacturing in India with private sector participation,” Jaitley said.

“Healthy competition between the two will bring out the best in both. Competition always is guarantee of competence,” the Minister added.

The Minister gave away Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence in recognition of exemplary performance amongst Ordnance Factories and the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).