Rajnath urges French defence firms to establish production bases in India

NEW DELHI: India and France have decided to further deepen their bilateral defence and counter-terrorism cooperation, even as defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asked French armament companies to establish production bases in India for weapon systems that can also be exported to other countries.
French arms companies, on their part, urged India to provide a more attractive business environment for them without the threat of tax terrorism and other business hurdles. “India is set to become the third largest commercial market for aviation. We are keen to create a strong maintenance and repair base there to serve customers. But we need to make sure that the Indian tax and customs system is not terrorising us,” said Safran Aircraft Engines chief Olivier Andries, according to agency reports from Paris.
With Safran engines powering the 36 Rafale fighter jets that IAF is acquiring from France under the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked in September 2016, the company also announced plans for $150 million investment in India towards training and maintenance purposes.
Responding to the concerns expressed by the French companies, Singh said the Indian government had undertaken “significant reforms” to improve the ease of doing business and opening the economy for investments.
“Our government, under PM Narendra Modi, has opened up defence sector manufacturing to a large extent under Make in India. We have set up two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and offer attractive terms for investment,” said Singh.
“I would like to emphasise that India would be open to exploring opportunities for co-production of high-end defence equipment…. For Make in India in the defence sector, if there is need for further tax rationalisation, it will be considered suitably,” he added.
Earlier, Singh and his French counterpRead More – Source

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