According to Janes, a trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence, Pakistan is assessing quite a few new initiatives to recharge the nation’s industrial and defence enterprises, which have likely suffered from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country is planning new policies regarding defence production and defence offsets, as well as undertaking internal restructuring in order to “make it more efficient and viable” according to the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP)’s report in August. MoDP is also looking to enhance the role played by the private sector in defence manufacturing.
Defence enterprises to be given greater independence by MoDP
The ministry has also said that it will give defence enterprises owned by the state greater independence and control by reorganising them. Pakistan government has announced State-owned Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) responsible for manufacturing of Pakistan’s Al-Khalid-I battle tank as an ‘autonomous body’ giving it more freedom and control over its activities.
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The MoDP has told in its recently published ‘Two years performance report’ that apart from reaching government targets it wants to support creation of an “internationally competitive defence production sector”.
According to the MoDP the move is a by-product of growing requirement to locally be capable of sourcing the needs of Pakistan’s Armed Forces, reducing reliance upon foreign bodies, enhancing revenue generation and job opportunities, all problem likely to have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation’s new defence production policy is going to be issued soon with objectives to outline manufacturing capabilities and targets. The offset policy which is also in draft form has been issued to the MoDP’s stakeholders for their input.
GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources