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Self-confidence in Indian defence sector key for a modern and Atmanirbhar Bharat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Aug 27, 2020

  • Resolve of Atmanirbhar Bharat is not inward-looking, reforms are not going to stop


NEW DELHI, 27 August 2020: Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi today asserted that the Indian defence sector plays a very important role and self-confidence in this sector is key in achieving a modern and Atmanirbhar Bharat. 


Addressing the webinar 'Atmanirbhar Bharat - Defence Industry Outreach', organized by FICCI, jointly with the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence, PM Modi said, "We are witnessing a new mentality in the defence sector. For a modern and Atmanirbhar Bharat, self-confidence in the defence sector is very important." 


The Prime Minister further mentioned that Atmanirbhar Bharat is not inward-looking but to make the global economy more stable, for global peace, and making India a self-reliant country. "This is also true for Atmanirbharta in the defence sector," he added. 


Mr Modi also emphasized that India has the capability to become a trusted supplier of defence equipment for its friendly countries. "We all collectively have to achieve the target of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is a win-win situation for everyone including the public sector, private sector and foreign companies. The government is committed to providing a better eco-system," he said. 


In order to support the private sector, Mr Modi said that the Ministry of Defence will allocate one portion of capital budget for promoting products manufactured within India. 


Speaking on the recent reforms announced by the government, Mr Modi emphasized that the process of the reforms will not stop but will continue. 


Defence Minister Mr Rajnath Singh said that we are committed to providing a level playing field to the industry and the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat can only be achieved by this. 


He further added that the government is working on the process of corporatization of the Ordinance Factory Boards in the countrywhich will further strengthen the defence sector. 


Mr Singh added that the ministry has allocated Rs 52,000 crore from the defence budget for the current financial year to boost and promote domestic defence industries. He also laid emphasis on simplifying the procurement procedures and reducing the timelines for approvals. 


Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff said that after consultation with the industry, there are a lot of items that they want to be added in the negative list. "The list is going to increase, and we will have the next list by early next year. That will not be the end of the list. Gradually, as we see the private industry delivering, we will keep on adding more items to the list." 


He further expressed hope that the Indian aerospace industry will find their feet in India and that this is one area where we are lagging. "Putting them in the negative list will be one of our greatest achievements," he added. 


Mr Raj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence said that the proof of Atmanirbharta lies in our ability to export our defence products. "With the help of the defence attachļæ½, we have developed country profiles of friendly nations. We propose that with due facilitation by defence attachļæ½ and Indian embassies will help us promote export of our indigenous products," he added. 


Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt of India, said that the government has set up the Empowered Technology group, which will ensure that we develop high-end technology locally, within India. He further added that design, development and prototyping in detail through traditional manufacturing will be the key to promoting the sector. 


Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said that the new draft Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 is an important move towards self-reliance. "Indian defence sector is one of the important drivers of the engine of growth and can raise the contribution of manufacturing from 16 per cent of GDP to a target of 25 per cent," she added. 


Mr S P Shukla, Chairman, FICCI Defence and Aerospace Committee and Chairman, Mahindra Defence said that the Indian defence sector will give its full support in achieving the target of both reaching the $ 5 trillion target and becoming Atmanirbhar Bharat and create new job opportunities. 


Mr Baba N Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Forge Limited said that achieving Atmanirbharta in the defence sector is a continuous journey and not a destination. All stakeholders including the industry, policymakers, researchers and academia have to work together to achieve this. 

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