Speed Post News Network
New Delhi : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on September 17, 2019, said the Government is committed to work towards achieving a USD 26 billion Defence industry by 2025. Addressing the second annual session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) here, he said the Defence sector has been identified as one of the most prominent sectors under “Make in India” initiative to realise USD 5 Trillion Economy by 2024.
Underlining the need to reduce dependency on arms imports, Rajnath said several steps have been taken under the “Make in India” initiative to make the country a major Defence manufacturing hub and net Defence exporter. The Government would not hesitate to initiate more measures, if required, he added.
He said that the defence production policy reflects the resolve of the government to achieve USD 26 billion Defence industry with an anticipated investment of USD 10 Billion in aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025. This will also provide employment to about 2-3 million people. He said the government has introduced many far-reaching reforms in the past five and a half years to create an ecosystem where private and public sectors contribute together as per their respective strength and experience, according to a PIB release.
Rajnath said that simplification of procedures for Defence Exports resulted in export of Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19, which is nearly seven times the export achieved in 2016-17 and a target of USD 5 Billion for exports has been set by 2024. Describing India as a big Defence industrial base, he said there are nine Defence Public Sector Units, 41 ordinance factories, 50 dedicated R & D labs and many other establishments are included in it. There are about 70 license holding private companies. They have a dedicated workforce of 1.7 lakhs people.
Singh said the government has simplified industry licensing process, increased the FDI cap, and taken necessary steps to promote Defence exports. He said Defence offset policy has been streamlined and government owned trial and testing facility has been provided to private sector. Two Defence industrial corridors have been launched in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Elaborating the Government’s initiatives to promote Start-Ups and MSMEs, the Minister said that at present over 8,000 MSMEs are engaged in Defence production. Efforts are on to double this figure to 16,000. Till date 40 industry development proposals have been given in principle approval. Eight such projects would have an estimated value of Rs 2,000 crore in next five years. As against 215 Defence licenses issued till 2014, the number of Defence licenses issued went up to 440 by March 2019, he added.
Rajnath further said that strategic partnership model has been introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure to ensure that private sector manufactures big-ticket items like Fighter Aircraft, Helicopters, Submarines and armored vehicles. This will help Indian private companies to evolve into global giants in coming years.
Referring to the strong IT industry of the country, Rajnath said that a roadmap has been prepared to promote Artificial Intelligence in national security to make India a significant power in Defence AI. It has been planned to develop 25 Defence Specific AI products by 2024. He assured the Defence Manufactures of all possible support from the Government