India becoming ‘Atmanirbhar’ in the defence sector: Prime Minister Modi  

New Delhi: – Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that any weapons and defence equipment purchased from an Indian company- private or government, will not be imported. India is preparing to become Atmanirbhar (Self-reliant) in the defence sector, wiping out the identity as the largest importer of weapons and defence equipment. The foundation for this has been laid in the recently presented budget. Everyone realises that it is not possible to build the defence systems of the 21st century without the inclusion of private sector companies. The Prime Minister clarified that therefore, private participation would be sought from the beginning in all future defence projects.   

‘Atmanirbhar’

Prime Minister Modi was addressing a webinar organised by the defence ministry. India is emerging as an exporter of defence equipment, wiping out the biggest importer of defence equipment’s identity. India has started supply of defence equipment to 40 countries. In these times, the private sector needs to come forward for the indigenous manufacture of defence equipment. The private sector should benefit from an institution’s experience and expertise, like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Steps are being taken for the inclusion of the private sector in the new defence-related projects. Reforms are being implemented in the DRDO for this purpose. Taking advantage of this, the private sector should contribute to planning, developing, and manufacturing weapons and defence equipment. The Prime Minister assured that the weapons and defence equipment produced in India will never be purchased from any other country.   

There is a positive response from the leadership of the defence forces for the government’s Atmanirbhar initiative. The country has developed Tejas fighter jets. Moreover, a contract for ₹480 billion was awarded for their purchase. This government has taken this decision believing in the capability of our researchers, engineers and, in turn, the ability of Tejas fighter jets. Moreover, a list of 100 defence related items has been prepared and the decision for only indigenous purchase of these items has been taken. The Prime Minister pointed out the timeframe also has been fixed for this purpose. Prime Minister expressed confidence that this will lead to expeditious development of the micro, small and medium industry.   

This year’s budget has an increase of nearly 19% in the provision of defence-related capital expenditure. The defence-related purchases will benefit even from this. Simultaneously, with the Joint Chief of Defence Staff appointment, the decision-making process for any defence-related purchases has become expeditious. In today’s times, even smaller countries of the world are more conscious regarding their security. In the past, these countries did not have to pay too much attention to their security. In this scenario, India can be an affordable supplier of weapons and defence equipment for these countries. This is an Indian responsibility and this also has opened up a major opportunity for India. The Prime Minister appealed that the companies operating in the defence sector should benefit from the opportunity. 

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