Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said the commitment to achieve self-sufficiency in defence production was not limited to talks or papers. He said the government was making efforts to boost defence production in the country and give big role to private players in defence sector.
Addressing a virtual seminar on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat in defence manufacturing’, PM Modi said, “Our commitment to self-sufficiency in defense production is not limited to talks or papers. The effort in the last few years has been to break all the shackles associated with the defence sector. Our aim is to increase production in India, develop new technology in India, and maximise expansion of private sector.”
PM Modi said for decades, the ordnance factories were run like government departments due to a limited vision that led to the suffering of the “hard working, experienced and skilled working class”.
In May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board for improving autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance suppliers. The FDI limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route has also been raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
PM Modi also spoke of the import embargo on certain defence equipment imposed by his government, saying it was aimed at giving boost to the local defence industry.
The government on August 10 announced a ban on import of 101 weapons, platforms, and equipment. The PM said more items would be added to the negative import list. “We also saw labour reforms recently. Reform exercise is not going to stop now,” he said.
PM Modi said the motto of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ was not to be mistaken for inward-looking, but for “making India capable and boosting global peace and economy”.
“Our work for Aatmanirbhar Bharat will also boost India’s ability of being net security provider in Indian Ocean,” the PM said.
At the event, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said India’s armed forces were committed to hand-hold the domestic industry in developing next-generation military platforms and equipment to make the country self-reliant in defence manufacturing.
“India has been facing numerous security threats and challenges and they are going to increase manifold in the future,” PTI quoted Gen Rawat as saying.
“Nothing will give us greater satisfaction than fighting and coming out victorious in wars with indigenous technology and equipment,” said the chief of defence staff, adding that the armed forces do not have any bias towards imported equipment.
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