Need to make indigenous marine equipment



India needs to expand its capability in building world class warships to merchant vessels, said Vice Admiral A.K. Saxena, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, Indian Navy.

Speaking at the Curtain Raiser for ‘International Seminar on Nation Building Through Shipbuilding’ on 8 July 2019, Saxena wants a vibrant shipbuilding industry contributes to national GDP and generates substantial business and employment opportunities in both upstream and downstream ends

The ‘International Seminar on Nation Building Through Shipbuilding’ is being organised by FICCI, in partnership with the Indian Navy 25-26 July 2019.

“While India has developed a national capability to design and build world class warships and submarines, we need to design and build our strengths in merchant marine with vessels for inland waterways, coastal ships and specialised merchant ships in the long run,” Saxena said.

The order books of Indian shipyards for building warship projects has been supported by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, but there is a need to raise the competitiveness in manufacture of indigenous shipborne equipment to generate the required volumes for long term sustenance of the industry, he stressed.

“This sustenance in long term for Indian shipyards and OEMs is possible only if we become globally competitive and diversified to build ships and shipborne equipment for merchant marine,” he added.

The Vice Admiral said that shipbuilding has been identified as a key strategic sector under ‘Make in India’ initiative as growth in the sector leads to spinoffs for industries such as steel, electrical and engineering equipment, port infrastructure, trade and shipping services. It also has huge potential for employment generation.

FICCI Advisor Commodore Sujeet Samaddar NM (Retired) said that going by the world history, no nation has achieved great power status unless it has an indigenous shipbuilding capability.

Shipbuilding has a direct relationship with nation building, he pointed out.

“Shipbuilding leads to job creation and this is the key need for our country. There is no other industry with a higher multiple of job creation than the shipbuilding industry,” he said.

Most estimates quote that one job in a shipyard results in 60-65 jobs outside in direct employment, noted Samaddar, adding generation of indirect jobs is far higher.

The objective of the seminar is to create a common platform for an informed debate on shipbuilding by international and national experts towards developing a synergistic national common strategy for shipbuilding, including both warships and mercantile marine.


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