“India to spend $130 Million for Military Modernisation” - Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has announced that Government of India will spend 130 billion dollars on military modernisation over the next seven years and steps had been taken to strengthen the nation’s security apparatus with domestic manufacturing and complex Defence platforms becoming the focus of the Aatmanirbhar Policy.
He said that the government had enhanced Foreign Direct Investment in the Defence Sector up to 74 per cent through the automatic route and 100 per cent through the government route. Hailing the reforms brought in by the government since 2014 he said that they would create a conducive system for exports, foreign direct investment, and offset discharge. The Newly introduced (Buy Global-Manufacture in India) category of capital procurement in Defence Acquisition Policy 2020 allows outright purchase of equipment from foreign vendors and indigenous manufacture through an Indian subsidiary, a joint venture, or an Indian agency. He said many indigenous Defence equipment had been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation to cater to the needs of the nation’s defence forces.
The minister informed that reforms aimed at bringing ease in doing business, have shown good results. India has jumped from 77th rank in 2019 to the 63rd rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings. He added that industrial licensing requirements have been eliminated for a number of items in the defence sector. More than 500 companies have now taken defence licences, doubling the number in the last 6 years. Rajnath Singh invited business leaders from across the globe to take advantage of the various initiatives of the government of India and set up manufacturing units.
Rajnath Singh said that the India pavilion at Aero India 2021 would showcase India’s design and manufacturing supply chain associated with various facets of the rotary wing system. He expressed great happiness that HAL got the orders for 83 new indigenous LCA - Tejas MK1A for Indian Air Force valued at more than Rs 48,000 crore, the biggest “Make in India” defence contract till date. He said with a strong and diversified Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise sector composed of more than active 5000 units, India has the potential to become a reliable supplier of defence equipment to many of its friendly nations.
The minister shared the vision of making India one of the biggest countries of the world in defence sector, from design to production, with active participation of public and private sector. He said that to achieve the twin goals of self-reliance and exports, we have set a target to achieve Rs 1,75,000 crore turnover, including export of Rs 35,000 crore in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2024.He expressed happiness at the organisation of the first Indian Ocean Region’s Defence Ministers’ Conclave with the theme “Enhanced peace, Security and cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region” in this edition of Aero India. He said that this was an implementation of the concept of the Indian Ocean built around Security and Growth for All (SAGAR), visualised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indian Ocean Island states in 2015.
He also highlighted that the unique opportunity in defence and aerospace manufacturing that India offers through a “Sangam” of rising demand, greater innovation, conducive policies and maturing ecosystem in the sector.