Chaos, scorching sun welcome guests at Defence Expo 2016

Panaji, March 28 (IANS) Mismanagement and chaos marked the start on Monday of Defence Expo 2016 which got underway in Goa in soaring end-of-March heat.

Delays and traffic snarls left the formally-dressed defence ministers, military generals and business people baking in the scorching sun on roads and at open air inaugural venue of the ninth edition of India’s biennial land, naval and internal security systems exposition.

Defence Minsiter Manohar Parrikarin his inaugural address admitted the bad start to the show and apologised for the discomfort caused to the guests.

“Let me first express my apologies for the delay in the start of the programme and for cooking you in a cooker with temperature already soaring,” Parrikar said.

“This month I know is quite a hot month and we could not for lack of time provide a closed opening ceremony venue. So I won’t be long in my speech.”

All narrow roads leading to the venue — at remote Naqueri plateau in South Goa district, 45 km from here — were clogged by traffic, which led to a delay in starting the event.

“I am aware there were some difficulties like traffic jams in travelling to this place. I assure you that in future whenever we hold this, all these problems will be taken care of,” Parrikar, a former chief minister of Goa, said.

In a lighter vein, he added: “Even chief minister of Goa (Laxmikant Parsekar who was present at the event) will now ensure that roads are made wider. A lot of people in Goa love winding narrow roads. So, we have kept them like that.”

There are 1,035 companies participating in the four-day Defence Expo 2016.

Parrikar elated over more participation at DefExpo 2016

Was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high octane ‘Make in India’ campaign responsible for the increased participation at the Defence Expo 2016 or was it just Goa, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar wondered aloud at the inauguration of the event on Monday.

“The participation was beyond our expectations as 1,035 (companies participating) is a number which exceeded our expectation by 20 to 25 percent. Maybe, Goa has something to do with it or maybe ‘Make in India’ programme declared by us has something to do with it,” said Parrikar, a former chief minister of Goa, while speaking at the Defence Expo 2016 inaugural function held at the Naqueri plateau.

Traditionally held in the national capital, the DefExpo 2016 was relocated to the Naqueri plateau in south Goa for the current edition as a new convention centre is being built at the Pragati Maidan in Delhi.

Defence Expo 2016 is the country’s biggest land, naval and homeland security exhibition. Goa is one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly four million tourists every year.

New defence procurement policy is about transparency, speed: Parrikar

Panaji, March 28 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday announced the new defence procurement policy which he said embodies transparency, speed and the ‘Make in India’ concept.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the Defence Expo 2016 in South Goa district, Parrikar said a new top priority category had been introduced in the policy in order to encourage defence equipment designed, developed and manufactured in India.

“We have ensured that there is more transparency, but procurement also takes place faster, which you will realise through defence procurement procedure (DPP),” Parrikar said, adding that the policy document has been uploaded on the ministry website.

The final version of the policy document will be uploaded in 15 days after incorporation of “small annexures and corrections”.

“This DPP, I believe, can actually push the agenda of ‘Make in India’ and India’s target of achieveing major success in creating defence industry network for its own need as well as exports,” Parrikar said.

“Technology is changing almost every year and India is one country which has huge pool of engineers and technology people who can convert many requirements of defence into actual production,” the minister said.

Parrikar said a new top priority concept called “Indian-designed developed and manufactured (IDDM)” had been included in the DPP which he said would help indigenise the industry.

“The IDDM category would encourage local industry,” Parrikar said.

There are 1035 companies participating in the four-day Defence Expo 2016, which has been billed as India’s biggest ever land, naval and homeland security exhibition.

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