Home / News / India /  India capable of meeting global requirement of military equipment: Defence Minister

New Delhi: Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday urged the domestic defence manufacturing industry to identify and make cost effective products and technologies to help realise the prime minister’s vision for ‘New India’.

“Seven-eight years ago, our defence exports were not even 1,000 crore. They have now crossed 13,000 crore. We have set a target of 1.75 lakh crore of defence production by 2025, which includes export of 35,000 crore," Singh said addressing the 5th annual session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.

There has been an increase in the number of contracts being awarded to the domestic industry. Over 10,000 MSMEs have joined the defence sector, with an increase being witnessed in research & development, start-ups, innovation and employment, the minister said.

He said that the constantly-evolving global scenario has led to an increase in demand for military equipment across the world, with countries focusing on bolstering their security systems. “According to a recent report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2021, world military expenditure crossed $2 trillion for the first time. It has increased by 0.7% as compared to 2020 and 12% as compared to 2012."

Singh added that Indian armed forces will also spend a substantial amount on capital procurement in the years to come. “This shows that the security needs of the world are set to increase. India is capable of meeting those needs, both in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness. Public sector, private sector, academia and research & development organizations, with SIDM as their nodal point, must continue to work together to achieve this objective."

The minister said that the government understands the importance of a fool-proof security apparatus and is constantly working towards bolstering all dimensions of national security to take the country to greater heights. “We are focusing on national security and economic prosperity to make India one of the strongest countries in the world."

Singh said that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee considered the private sector a game-changer and the present government is carrying that vision forward with great zeal. The defence ministry has undertaken many reforms over the last few years to increase private sector participation and have created an enabling environment for defence companies to ensure the country’s holistic development.

The minister listed out the steps taken to encourage the private sector, including earmarking 68% of capital procurement budget for domestic industry in 2022-23, out of which, 25% has been allocated for the private sector. In addition, 25% of defence R&D budget has been earmarked for private industry and start-ups which will pave the way for innovation of new defence technologies in India.

Other measures include issuance of positive indigenization lists; unveiling of Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020; opening up of opportunities to build Mega Defence Programme including fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks and submarines through a strategic partnership model and Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative which has created an ecosystem for innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace sectors.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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