New Delhi : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday pushed for indigenisation in defence manufacturing, and said that India has scope to emerge as a hub for defence equipment as nations are focusing on modernising their militaries.
“Government has created an atmosphere of jointness to ensure modernisation of the Armed Forces in the rapidly evolving global security scenario,” Singh said on Tuesday addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).
Singh said, countries around the world are now focusing on the modernisation of their militaries and the demand for military equipment is rapidly increasing due to emerging security concerns, border disputes and maritime dominance.
“India is capable of meeting these needs through a cost-effective and quality approach. By India, we mean public sector, private sector, academia, research & development. We believe in taking them all onboard together,” he said.
The Minister emphasised that the Indian defence industry is home to manufacturers who can create a perfect blend of state-of-the-art, high quality and cost-effective hardware which will not only bolster national security but make India a net defence exporter.
Underlining the importance of indigenisation, he listed out a number of reforms undertaken by the Government to encourage the participation of private sector in defence manufacturing.
He said the reforms include earmarking 64.09 per cent of the total Capital Acquisition Budget for 2021-22 for domestic capital procurement and 15 per cent of capital procurement budget for direct procurement from private industry; setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh & Tamil Nadu; introduction of Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX); free Transfer of Technology (ToT) through Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and increase in FDI in defence up to 74 per cent through automatic route & up to 100 per cent through government route.
He added that the Government is providing a suitable growth environment to the private sector.
“We have opened up opportunities to build a Mega Defence Programme, including fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks and submarines through a strategic partnership model that will help our private companies become global giants in the years to come,” he said calling the recent contract with Airbus-Tata consortium for 56 transport aircraft for Indian Air Force as one of the examples.