India can become net defence exporter: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
India's defence exports had crossed the Rs 38,000-crore mark in the last seven years, Rajnath Singh said
India can become a net defence exporter and meet the growing needs of militaries around the world, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
The Indian defence industry was home to manufacturers who can create a perfect blend of state-of-the-art, high quality and cost-effective hardware, Singh said on Tuesday.
This will not only bolster national security but make but make India a net defence exporter, he said.
He was addressing the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) Annual General Meeting in New Delhi.
Explaining the opportunities, Singh said countries around the world were now focusing on the modernisation of their militaries and the demand for military equipment was 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,” said Singh.
India had opened up opportunities to build a Mega Defence Programme, including fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks and submarines through a strategic partnership model that will help the country's private companies become global giants in the years to come, the Defence Minister said.
"The recent contract of 56 transport aircraft for Indian Air Force is one such example,” he said.
Due to these steps, defence exports had crossed the Rs 38,000-crore mark in the last seven years, he said, adding that more than 10,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) had joined the defence sector.
Defence Minister Singh also reiterated the Government’s resolve of 'Make in India' and 'Make for the world' through past learnings, present works, with focus on empowering the future.
He underlined the importance of indigenisation and listed the reforms undertaken by the Government to encourage the participation of private sector.
These 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% through government route.
He added that the Government was providing a suitable growth environment to the private sector.
There had been an increase in research & development, start-ups, innovation and employment, the Defence Minister noted.
Defence Minister Singh appreciated the suggestions of the private sector that have been incorporated in various policy reforms, including 'Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP 2020), draft Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2021 and the two Positive Indigenisation lists.
These reforms will not only meet the requirements of India's private industry, but also create sustainable and long-term linkages with foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to meet global demands, he said.