Tamil Nadu to emerge as major defence hub: Nirmala Sitharaman

By: Express News Service | Chennai | Published: April 12, 2018 6:00:08 am

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra on the first day of the Defexpo 2018, in Chennai on Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

Tamil Nadu will soon become a major defence manufacturing hub in the region, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday, on the first day of the four-day defence expo being held on the outskirts of Chennai.

Asked by the media about purchase of India-made defence products by the Indian armed forces, the minister said the forces make their own decisions in purchasing weapons.

“As I am promoting India-made defence products elsewhere, I am also telling our forces to use them more,” she said. “(But) even if the government has enthusiasm about production capabilities and its export worthiness, decisions about purchasing weapons and such items are taken themselves…by the Army and Navy. They take a final call on those matters….

“They are doing it, they are buying India-made products, but that may not be as much as you or me want,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to formally inaugurate the event on Thursday. About protests by Tamil groups and political parties against Modi’s visit, Sitharaman said there is no change in his travel plan.

Sitharaman said Tamil…

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