Defence Minister pushes for promoting industry in defence sector for self-reliance and exports

Minister added that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in the defence sector has been liberalised. The FDI in the sector till 2014 was Rs 1200 cr which in 5 years as added 1700 cr more.

Published: 10th August 2019 12:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2019 12:56 AM   |  A+A-

Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh addresses a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has reiterated the government’s desire to encourage private industry investment in defence sector while also strengthening defence PSUs and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for better exports.

“Defence companies have huge opportunities in contributing to the domestic market in addition to exports. The strategic partnership model has been notified to establish defence manufacturing infrastructure and supply chain through which Indian companies could choose a partner through a competitive and transparent process.” said Rajnath Singh while addressing CEOs of top Defence and Aerospace companies at a roundtable in Delhi with the theme ‘Make in India in Defence Industry’

Minister added that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in the defence sector has been liberalised. The FDI in the sector till 2014 was Rs 1200 cr which in 5 years as added 1700 cr more.

While highlighting various measures initiated by the government to encourage defence exports, Rajnath Singh urged the industry to work towards increasing exports to friendly countries. He said the export procedure has been simplified and defence procurement procedure was revised in 2016 to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture.

The defence export in 2016-17 was 1650 cr and rose to Rs 10,500 Cr in 2018-19. The government has set a target of Rs 15,000 cr export in the year 2019-20.

Rajnath called for a multi-pronged approach to achieve the aim of ‘Make in India’.

Talking about the offset processing, Rajnath Singh said the Ministry has set up an end-to-end offset processing portal through which proposals of value USD 1.5 billion were processed. Entry barriers for MSMEs were also reduced due to which defence licenses issued doubled from 215 in 2014 to 440 in 2019. Also, the Defence Investor Cell established a year ago in the Ministry has processed nearly 550 queries and grievances.

Defence Minister said self-reliance in defence sector would not be possible without the development of indigenous technology and called for steps to develop related technologies within the country. He said there is a greater possibility now because the contribution of digital technologies in the defence sector is on the upswing and India has strong capabilities to develop such technologies where startups have a significant role to play. 

Speaking on the Indian defence industry’s production Rajnath Singh said it was Rs 80,000 crore in 2018-19 of which Rs 16,000 crore was the contribution from the private sector.

MoS Defence Shripad Yesso Naik, Secretary (Defence Production) Dr. Ajay Kumar and senior officials of the Ministry, Defence PSUs, OFB and CEOs & representatives of top Defence manufacturing companies were present on the occasion.

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