Modi lays foundation stone for C-295 aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara
Vadodara, October 30, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of an aircraft manufacturing facility here that will be utilised for making 40 C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) through collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Airbus Defence and Space, Spain.
It will be the first aircraft manufacturing facility in the private sector in the country and is being seen as a key step towards achieving "Aatmanirbharta" (self-reliance) in the defence sector, and will also help unlock the potential of the private players in the sector.
Modi also visited an exhibition showcasing technological and manufacturing strides in the aerospace industry under "Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India).
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the plant was a big step in the direction of making India the manufacturing hub of the world.
He said India is making fighter jets, tanks, submarines, medicines, vaccines, electronic gadgets, mobile phones and cars that are popular in many countries. He remarked that India is moving forward with the mantra of "Make in India, Make for the Globe" and is now becoming a huge manufacturer of transport aircrafts in the world.
He said he could foresee that India would soon be manufacturing big passenger aircrafts that will proudly bear the words "Made in India".
He said that the facility for which the foundation stone was laid today, has the power to transform the country’s defence and transport sector. He pointed out that it is for the first time that this big investment is taking place in the Indian defence sector. Transport aircrafts manufactured here will not only give strength to the armed forces but it will help in developing a new ecosystem of aircraft manufacturing, he said.
“Vadodara, which is famous as a cultural and education centre, will develop a new identity as an aviation sector hub,” he said.
Modi expressed happiness about the fact that more than 100 MSMEs are also associated with the project. He said that the promise of "Make in India, Make for the Globe" will gain a new push from this land as the project will be able to take orders for export to other countries in the future.
Commenting on the fast growing aviation sector of India, he said it was about to enter among the top three countries in the world with regard to air traffic. UDAN, the Regional Connectivity Scheme, is helping in turning many commuters into air travelers, he said.
Highlighting the increased demand for passenger and cargo aircrafts, the Prime Minister stated that India will need more than 2,000 aircrafts in the next 15 years. He said the plant here is a crucial step in this direction and India has already begun preparations for the same.
Modi said India is presenting a global opportunity for the world that is beset by the coronavirus pandemic and war and marred by disruptions in the supply chain. He said the growth momentum of India has been constant even among such tough circumstances. He explained that operating conditions are constantly improving and India is focussing on cost competitiveness as well as quality.
“India is presenting the opportunity of low cost manufacturing and high output,” he said.
The Prime Minister said India has a huge talent pool of skilled manpower. Listing the reforms carried out by his government in the last eight years, he said India is creating an unprecedented environment for manufacturing in the country.
He gave examples of creating a simplified corporate tax structure while making it globally competitive, opening up the 100 per cent FDI route, opening up defence and space sectors for private companies, reforming 29 central labour laws into 4 codes, abolishing 33,000 compliances, and creation of the Goods and Service Tax by putting an end to a complex web of dozens of taxes.
“A new saga of economic reforms is being written in India today and the manufacturing sector is reaping the most benefits from this, apart from the states," he said.
The Prime Minister credited a change in mindset for the success. He said, “Today, India is working with a new mindset, a new work-culture”.
He said there was a time when the reigning notion was that the government was know-all, a mindset that suppressed the country's talent and the power of the private sector. “Now following ‘Sabka Prayas’, the government has started giving equal importance to the public and private sector," he said.
Modi said the previous government had a makeshift approach where the manufacturing sector was kept barely functional through subsidy. There was neglect of basic facilities like logistics, electricity supply or water supply.
“We have abandoned the makeshift approach of decision-making and have come up with various new incentives for investors. We launched the Production Linked Incentive scheme, which made the change visible. Today our policies are stable, predictable and futuristic,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said there was a time when the dominant thought was to focus on the service sector as manufacturing was considered to be beyond reach. “Today we are improving both services and manufacturing sectors,” he said.
He underlined the importance of a holistic approach that focuses on both the manufacturing and service sector. “Today India is preparing to stay ahead of everyone in manufacturing. This became possible because in the last eight years we focused on skill development and created an environment for it. By assimilating all these changes, today India's development journey in the manufacturing sector has reached this stage,” he said.
Highlighting the investment-friendly policies of the government, the Prime Minister remarked that its benefits are clearly visible in FDI. “In the last eight years” he said, “companies from more than 160 countries have invested in India.”
He said such foreign investments are not limited to certain industries but spread across 61 sectors of the economy and cover 31 states of India.
He said more than $ 3 billion has been invested in the aerospace sector alone. He said that post 2014, investment in this sector grew five times of what was invested during the year 2000 to 2014.
Modi said that, in the coming years, the defence and aerospace sectors are going to be the crucial pillars of the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. “We aim to scale our defence manufacturing beyond $25 billion by 2025. Our defence exports will also exceed $5 billion,” he added.
He said the defence corridors being developed in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu would immensely help in scaling up this sector.
Modi also praised the Defence Ministry and the Government of Gujarat for organising the biggest ever Defexpo in Gandhinagar. He underlined that all the equipment and technologies displayed in the Defexpo were made in India. “The reflection of Project C-295 will also be visible to us in the Defexpo of the coming years," he said.
The Prime Minister urged all those associated with the industry to make the most out of the unprecedented investment confidence in the country at the moment. He said more thought must be given to helping the start-ups of the country in moving forward. He also stressed the need for increased participation of the private sector in the field of research.
“If we push in this direction, then we will be able to develop a more strong ecosystem of innovation and manufacturing. You always have to remember the mantra of Sabka Prayas,” he added.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer were among those present on occasion.