Government-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited will build Indian Navy's multi-purpose vessels, including warships, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious "Make-in-India" campaign which aims to turn the country into a manufacturing powerhouse of weapons.
Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said an agreement would be signed between the Defence Ministry and the Ministry of Shipping to manufacture different types of naval ships, including warships, in the next five years at CSL as part of government's efforts to "encourage the Indian industries".
Dedicating a specialized multi-purpose Buoy Tender Vessel to the nation at the shipyard here, Gadkari said he discussed the matter with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday and "he assured me we will make an agreement between the two ministries" in this regard.
As per the agreement to be signed, Gadkari said that in the next five years, whatever orders are from the Defence Ministry to manufacture ships, that will go to Cochin Shipyard.
Asked for further clarification on the agreement, he said the Defence Ministry is "mentally prepared" to give orders to the Cochin Shipyard Limited and "they are just studying how much requirement the Navy has in the next five years".
"They will give the order to the Cochin Shipyard. There will be agreement between the Defence Ministry and the Shipping Ministry," the Minister said.
He said the ships to be manufactured in Cochin Shipyard Limited includes warships and other different types of ships, based on the requirement of the Navy.
"My feeling is that we are fully capable and Cochin Shipyard is 101 per cent fully capable. It only needs confidence and ambition. Without ambition, we cannot make progress," the Shipping Minister said.
Gadkari asked Cochin Shipyard Limited to start expansion of its capacity so that it can can play a lead role in ship- building in the country.
Noting that Cochin Port Trust has already given some land to Cochin Shipyard Limited, the Minister said "my request is to let us plan for its future expansion" not only in Kochi, but also along different coasts of India.
"We want the expansion of Cochin Shipyard into different parts of India. Already, we have land in Kandla Port... We also have a proposal in Andaman and Nicobar Islands...
"We are going to put in long-term investment from the government side, we are also going to raise capital from the market and I feel that we can give a new shape to this industry," he said.
The Minister assured that money and technology are not the problem for the expansion and said, "the strong political will and appropriate vision can lead to miracle."
Gadkari said as far as Cochin Shipyard Limited is concerned, it is fully supported by the government and already orders are being placed for two ships of 1200 passenger capacity, two ships of 500 capacity and two ships of 400 passengers capacity for Andaman and Nicobar Island administration.
Emphasising the need for further expanding the ship- building capacity of Cochin Shipyard, the Minister said the government was in the process of developing inland waterways of the country and there would be requirement for more vessels for the purpose.
"Regarding inland waterways...We are interested in manufacturing different types of ships....Even you can think about manufacturing sea planes. The technology is available, huge market potential is there," the Minister said.
Gadkari expressed confidence that the Cabinet note for shipbuilding would get approval very soon.