ISLAMABAD   -  Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production on Wednesday underlined the need to achieve self-sufficiency in the manufacturing of vehicles used for Pakistan Armed Forces routine transportation and movement at the borders.

A meeting of the Committee was held here with Senator Lt. General Abdul Qayyum in the chair.

The meeting was attended by Senators Mushahid Hussain Syed, Pervaiz Rashid, Nauman Wazir, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Nuzhat Sadiq, Secretary Ministry of Defence Production and officials of Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) and Military Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (MVRDE).

The panel expressed satisfaction at the performance of country’s defence production institutions.

The officials of HIT told the panel that a Chinese company after watching HIT set up offered to make passengers coaches of trains and military vehicles there. “But we told them (Chinese company) that our law does not allow us to do that,” they said.

“We just want to have a commercial window. Currently, we are not allowed to carry out commercial activities,” they added.

He said that HIT wanted to utilise its surplus capacity for manufacturing of marketable products to promote its sales and provide services within the country and abroad.

The Committee unanimously approved two amendments in HIT proposed Amendment Bill.

The officials of NRTC briefed the meeting about the functioning and manufacturing of products by the Corporation.

They said that the Corporation was focusing on development and manufacturing equipment, electronic systems and information technology solution for local and international customers.

The officials of MVRDE told the meeting about the details of completed and ongoing projects.

They said that MVRDE since its establishment had completed 413 projects, adding, that work on 21 more projects was underway.

Senator Nauman Wazir underlined the need to come up with a plan to manufacture military vehicles locally.

The Chairman of the Committee said that there was a lot of scope in the field and priority should be given to local vendors so that the get encouraged to make vehicles.

“If we can make missiles, fighter airplanes and achieve nuclear technology. We can also do this,” the Chairman said.

The panels agreed that the business model of MVRDE be reviewed for commercialisation.