Pakistan has reduced imports of defence equipment by 90 per cent during the last three years, Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain said.
Hussain while talking at a seminar organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) last Thursday said that the Pakistani government had curtailed the number of No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) issued for import of defense items and different equipment by 90 per cent in the last three years.
"When the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took over three years ago, around 1,000 NOCs were issued, during a certain period. While, our ministry has curtailed it to 100 as we believe that the country is capable enough to produce majority items indigenously," Hussain was quoted as saying by brecorder.
The minister was addressing the participants of a seminar titled "Role of Education, Science and Technology in National Security," organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in collaboration with the University of Management and Technology (UMT) Lahore.
Rana Tanveer, who is also Minister for Defence Production, said the Pakistan government, after coming into power in 2013, adopted a strategy for effective collaboration among research and development institutes and security departments aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in the field of defence production.
Presently, he said, there was a good coordination among the Ministries of Science and Technology, Defence Production and other R&D institutes, which were working in line with the requirements of the security departments.
He expressed the resolve that the annual budget for Research and Development (R&D), which was around 0.29 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, to increase at least to one percent by 2018.