PM urges private sector to make strides in design and development for the defence sector

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 22, 2021

PM Narendra Modi virtually addressing the 6th NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting in New Delhi, on Saturday   -  PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged the private sector to take big steps in design and development for the defence sector. At the same time, he defended the negative list of goods for the sector by calling them a positive list for self-reliance.

“A part of the capital expenditure of the defence budget has been reserved for the domestic sector. I would urge the private sector to come forward in design and development besides manufacturing, to put India on top at the global level,” Modi said while addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of the Union Budget provisions for the defence sector.

The Budget has made an allocation of over Rs 3.47 lakh crore (excluding pension and civil) for FY 2021-22. Of this, the capital outlay is over Rs 1.15 lakh crore. Capital expenditure is targeted at asset creation and investment in infrastructure.

Modi said the Government has prepared a list of 100 important items that can be manufactured with the help of local industries. A timeline has also been set to enable local industries to plan for developing capability. “Officially, it is a negative list (of 100 items), but actually it is a positive list in terms of self-reliance. It is a positive list which will boost manufacturing capacity here and will create jobs in India,” he said.

Since 2014, the Government has been marching ahead with transparency, predictability and ease of doing business in the defence sector. “We have initiated steps such as de-licensing, de-regulation, export promotion and foreign investment liberalisation,” he said while adding that the Government had put its trust in India’s own engineer-scientists in the development of the light combat aircraft Tejas.

“Today Tejas is flying high in the sky. Recently Government placed an order amounting to Rs 48,000 crore for the Tejas,” he said. He recalled that India used to have hundreds of ordnance factories before Independence. Arms manufactured in these factories were used on a large scale during the first and second world wars. However, “not much has been done to strengthen these factories post-Independence,” he said.

He said it was not that the people of India did not have the talent or capability and pointed out that India did not make ventilators before the coronavirus period, but now manufactures thousands of them.

"An India that could reach Mars, could make modern weapons also. But it was easyto import weapons from abroad," he said. But now India is working hard to change the situation and it is committed to enhance its capacities and capabilities at a fast pace, the Prime Minister asserted.

He said with the establishment of the post if Chief of Defence Staff, bringing uniformity in the procurement process and induction of equipment has become easy.

Published on February 22, 2021

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