Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production Thursday recommended to allocate a separate annual budget for the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) to make its manufacturing units more efficient and self-reliant on commercial basis.
“The ministry should have a separately dedicated budget based on its requirements and, accordingly, it will put up a plan for budget needs of 3-5 years,” the committee meeting, chaired by Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum, observed.
Besides, the committee said defence production departments should have dedicated budget for research and development, indigenization and innovative pursuits. The body said major defence production set ups should have one time budget allocation so that they could better utilize the funds, adding the country’s armed forces should give first right of refusal to own defence production units while buying arms and ammunition.
Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) was appreciated for expansion of its unit – the Brass Mills – and taking measures to run it on viable commercial lines. The committee also acknowledged increase in export of defence products and underlined the need for capacity building of the POF, Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra.
Chairman Abdul Qayyum said when Pakistan came into being, there was not a single ordnance factory but today it was nearly self-sufficient in tactical defensive conventional weapons, missile technology and suitable nuclear deterrence to guard territorial integrity and national security. “Credit goes to our founding fathers like Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khan Liaquat Ali Khan and Khawaja Nazimuddin, who gave initial vision for a mother defence industry like POF,” he opined.
For the expanded defence production set ups like POF, HIT, PAC, Air Weapons Complex, Karachi Shipyard, Precision Engineering Complex and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, he said its credit went to scientists, armed forces leadership, engineers, skilled and semi-skilled workers, who exhibited extreme dedication and hard work.
The committee appreciated the departments for remarkable achievements made in the defence production sector. Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain said he was making consistent efforts to get a separate budget for the ministry, adding the defence production should be treated as an industry. —APP