Speaking on the budget allocation for India’s defence sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed the government’s vision to make India a hub for manufacturing “low cost, high quality” defence equipment. With this, the country will soon become one of the leading defence exporters in the world, he underlined.
Addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of Union Budget 2021’s schemes in the defence sector, Modi spoke about the untapped potential of India’s manufacturing for military equipment and the increased role of the private sector in helping achieve this self reliance.
“Before Independence we used to have hundreds of ordnance factories. In both the World Wars, arms were exported from India on a large scale, but after Independence due to a number of reasons, this system was not strengthened as much as it should have,” he said.
India is working to change its dependence on others and “completely revolutionise its local defence” to not only manufacture in India, but also “export military equipment to other countries”, the prime minister said. Highlighting that India is one of the biggest defence importers in the world, the prime minister said his government’s aim is to generate employment in the country by “domestic manfacture of weapons”.
Modi said with initiatives like de-licensing, de-regulation, export promotion, foreign investment liberalisation, the government has taken several measures to give the defence manufacturing sector a boost.
In this year’s Budget, Modi said, “the defence’s sector’s capital outlay has been increased by 19 per cent.” He added that it was the first time that the private sector had been given so much importance and space in the defence industry.
At Rs 3.375 lakh crore, defence allocation saw a marginal rise compared to the budgeted estimates from last year of Rs 3.19 lakh crore, an increase of 5.6 per cent. The government gave the Defence Ministry in revenue outlay Rs 2.09 lakh crore this year, compared to Rs 2.02 lakh crore last year in Budget estimates.
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