BENGALURU: India's defence exports are increasing and will be worth Rs 35,000 crore by 2024, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday.
He was addressing employees and officials of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at their Kannada Naadahabba celebrations here.
Singh affirmed that India's defence exports will continue to grow based on HAL's strength, adding that in the long run, the country cannot be dependent on imports.
He said that with the private defence industry as a competitor, HAL has to partake in competitive bidding -- which is a new situation -- and hence this environment has to be seen as an opportunity.
He hoped that HAL would take the lead in manufacturing civil aircraft in the country.
HAL will play an important role in the Make In India programme -- it has excelled in operations and operational finance, he added. Until March 2019, the company's turnover has been Rs 19,705 crores and gave shareholders a healthy dividend of 198 per cent.
Rajnath expressed happiness over the progress of HAL as a backbone of the Air Force.