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Emphasis on enhancing manufacturing capacity in the defence sector: Modi
New Delhi, February 23, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that emphasis was being given to enhance the manufacturing capacity in the defence sector in keeping with the Government's commitment towards building a self-reliant India.
Addressing a webinar on effective implementation of the Union Budget provisions in the defence sector, he said the conference assumed great significance as it was focusing on the important issue of making the country’s defence sector self-reliant.
There used to be hundreds of ordnance factories in India before independence. In both world wars, weapons on large scale were being exported. However, for many reasons, this system has not been strengthened as much as it should have been after independence, he said.
Modi said his government has relied on the capabilities of Indian engineers and scientists on developing the Tejas fighter aircraft and today it was flying gracefully in the skies. A few weeks ago, an order worth Rs. 48,000 crore was placed for Tejas.
Since 2014, the government has endeavoured to move forward in this sector with transparency, predictability and ease of doing business. The government has taken steps to bring about de-licensing, de-regulation, export promotion, foreign investment liberalization, and so onn, he said.
A list of 100 important items related to defence has been drawn up that could be manufactured indigenously with the help of local industries. A timeline has also been set for the industries to plan and meet these requirements.
He said it is called a negative list in the official language, but it is a positive list in the language of self-reliance. This is the positive list in which the country’s manufacturing capacity was going to increase and generate employment in India. It will reduce India’s dependence on other countries for defence needs. It guarantees the sale of indigenous products in India.
The Prime Minister said a portion has been reserved for domestic procurement even in the capital budget of defence. He urged the private sector to come forward and take up both the designing and manufacturing of defence equipment so that the Indian flag can be kept flying high on the global stage.
MSMEs work as a backbone for the entire manufacturing sector. The reforms taking place today were giving more freedom to MSMEs and encouragement to expand, he said.
The defence corridors that were being built in the country will also help local entrepreneurs and local manufacturing. Self-sufficiency in the defence sector has to be seen as the empowerment of these two fronts – “Jawan as well as Youth,” he added.