Rajnath sets Rs 50,000 crore target for defence exports after taking charge of ministry

Immediately after assuming charge, Rajnath chaired a review meeting on the action plan of the MoD for the first 100 days.
Rajnath Singh assumes charge as the Defence Minister in New Delhi on Thursday (Photo | PTI)
Rajnath Singh assumes charge as the Defence Minister in New Delhi on Thursday (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Rajnath Singh took over as the Union Defence Minister for the second consecutive term on Thursday and outlined his priorities which included a 100-day action plan and doubling the record defence exports made in the 2023-24 financial year.

Immediately after assuming charge, Rajnath chaired a review meeting on the action plan of the MoD for the first 100 days. The meeting also focused on the welfare of veterans. He instructed the officers to re-dedicate themselves to fulfill the agenda laid out in the action plan.

Rajnath added that the objective will be to increase defence exports. "Defence exports had touched a record Rs 21,083 crore in Financial Year 2023-24. It was historic. Our target will be to export over Rs 50,000 crore worth of defence equipment by 2028-2029," he said.

Emphasising the growing salience of the Indian Ocean Region in the defence calculus, Rajnath said his first visit in this tenure would be to the Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam, where he will interacting with officers and sailors.

After being elected to the Lok Sabha from Lucknow for the third consecutive time, Rajnath took oath as Union Cabinet Minister on June 9. He was allocated the portfolio of the Ministry of Defence for the second consecutive term on the back of a successful tenure from 2019-2024. The Ministry of Defence in a statement said, "The focus will be on attaining self-reliance in defence, further modernising the Armed Forces, innovation in cutting-edge technology, strengthening border infrastructure, and ensuring ex-servicemen welfare, among others."

With a view to enhance defence preparedness and continued thrust on Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) in defence, Rajnath stated that he will be conducting regular review meetings to fast-track the progress of the flagship schemes and the initiatives of the MoD.

Talking to reporters on the occasion, the Defence Minister outlined his vision for the next five years and said the focus would be on carrying forward the priority areas with renewed thrust to establish a more secure, self-reliant and prosperous nation.

"The Defence Minister asserted that the Armed Forces are being equipped with state-of-the-art weapons/platforms and they are ready to face every challenge. He commended the military personnel for protecting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation with valour & commitment," the MoD added.

He was welcomed at South Block, New Delhi by MoS Sanjay Seth, who was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan; Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande; Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Dinesh Tripathi; Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane; Secretary (Ex-servicemen Welfare) Dr Niten Chandra; Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat and other officials of the MoD.

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