Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the Union government is working to develop India as a “defence manufacturing hub”, adding that the country cannot be dependent on imported arms for a long time, and thus the target is to create a world-class domestic industry.
Speaking on the eve of the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Singh said the government aims to become the third-largest economy in the world by the end of the decade.
Stating that the DefExpo 2020 is the biggest such exposition in the country, Singh said about 70 countries and over 1,000 exhibitors – including 856 Indian companies will participate. He said that the defense ministers of more than 35 countries have already arrived for the event, and there would be a special dialogue to explore and share defense capabilities.
“The prosperity and strength of this country is in the backdrop of this event as the stature of the country has increased across the world, and entire world takes India seriously,” Singh said. “We are developing India as a defence manufacturing hub.”
Singh said that it is his strong belief that by the end of the decade, India would be among the top three economies of the world. However, he added that India cannot depend on imports for long and thus the target is to develop a “vibrant” and “world class domestic industry” in which the dependence of import decreases and industry becomes self-reliant.
He said that while the target of a $5 trillion economy might seem beyond reach, and some people might have criticised it, “if you do something out of the league, they first ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight with you and then you win”.
Singh said that Uttar Pradesh has been given the opportunity to hold this international event, and it is a moment of pride for the state as many global investors are showing interest in investing in UP. He said the event would act as a flag-bearer of the government, adding that this would also ensure more job opportunities for the youth.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that UP will be the first state to use 19-seater Indian-made Dornier aircrafts manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for domestic travel between cities in the state, like Lucknow and Varanasi, Lucknow and Bareilly, Lucknow and Agra, etc. He said that the foundation for the Bundelkhand Expressway would also be laid this month in Chitrakoot district.
Talking about the defense manufacturing corridor in Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath said his government has identified land banks along the corridor for industries near six nodes including Lucknow, Agra, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, Jhansi and Aligarh. The CM said Uttar Pradesh has been chosen for the event as the state has huge potential – not just in terms of land bank but also inter terms of better connectivity.
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