Sitharaman launches vessel, asks defence PSUs to expand market

PANAJI, Feb 21: Defence Minister Nirmala

Sitharaman Thursday asked public sector defence undertakings

in India to look at the world as a market for their products.

She was speaking at Vasco town after launching a Coast

Guard offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of the Goa Shipyard

Limited, a public sector undertaking.

“I want not just the Goa Shipyard but every defence

public sector undertaking to look at manufacturing of

international class. Not just look at your captive market like

the defence forces, but look at world as a market which you

need to reach out to and compete globally,” she said.

Internationally there is an immense interest in buying

defence products like the OPVs from India, she said.

Many overseas clients have shown an interest in buying

from India, the minister said.

“I want the management (of defence PSUs) together with

experts to capture those markets which are appreciative of

your work. If they are appreciative of your work, half the

work is done. You need to go and negotiate,” she said.

“You should have the confidence to get up and say that

there is a market and can the government help us to get there

and get it. You are capable of producing more. Please put on

that attitude to say that we are able to compete globally and

help us in that,” the minister said, adding, “We will still

support you.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modis call is not just to

Make in India but also to export, the minister said. “The PM

is looking at India as a manufacturing hub,” she said.

Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh said

launching of the OPV is essential considering the ever dynamic

security scenario.

“The presence of Indian Coast Guard addresses twin

objectives of deterrence and reassurance,” he said. The Yard

1233 ship isa new generation OPV equipped with sophisticated

sensors and equipment. It is also capable of operating a light

combat helicopter,” Singh said.

Goa Shipyard Chairman and Managing Director Commodore

B B Nagpal said launching of the vessel within two years of

laying the keel is a significant achievement.

The ‘Sachet’ vessel is the first of five such OPVs

being built by the yard. The project of constructing the five

OPVs for was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in

November 2016.

The OPV will be assigned the work of patrolling and

policing Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an official


The vessel is 105 metre long and has a displacement of

2,350 tonnes at full load and an endurance of 600 nautical

miles. A team of 14 officers will be commanding it with a crew

of 133 personnel. (PTI)