Modi pitches to cut down on imports in defence sector

During a meeting on strengthening the defence industry amid the COVID-19 crisis, it was discussed that defence expenditure be "economised" and the savings channelled for strategic defence capital acquisition

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the RBI's measures would enhance liquidity and improve credit supply and help farmers | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (April 30) said India should reduce dependence on imports and take forward the “Make in India” initiative to build its domestic capabilities for designing, developing and manufacturing state-of-the-art defence equipment.

He made the remarks while chairing a meeting to discuss potential reforms to ensure a robust and self-reliant defence industry in India that caters to short and long term needs of the armed forces.

In the meeting, attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and others, Modi also discussed initiatives to give a boost to the economy in the backdrop of COVID-19, an official statement said.

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The discussions involved reforming of the functioning of the ordnance factories, streamlining procurement procedures, focused resource allocation and encouraging research and development.

Attracting investment in critical defence technologies and promotion of exports also came up in the meeting.

The prime minister also laid emphasis on positioning India among the top countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors, from design to production, with active participation of public and private sector fulfilling the twin objectives of self-reliance and exports.

He reviewed the proposed reforms for attracting domestic and foreign investment in defence sector. It was discussed that defence expenditure be “economised” and the savings channeled for strategic defence capital acquisition.

Issues relating to defence procurement processes, offset policies, indigenisation of spares, transfer of technology, attracting global original equipment manufacturers to establish manufacturing facilities in India, expanding our presence in international supply chains, were also deliberated.

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For India to emerge as a global leader in defence manufacturing, focus on the export of quality and state-of-the-art equipment, systems, platforms was also emphasised.

Modi directed that India should reduce dependence on imports and take forward the “Make in India” initiative to build its domestic capabilities for designing, developing and manufacturing defence equipment.

He emphasised initiatives to promote export of defence products along with industry participation in global defence product value chain and to create an environment that encourages research and development and rewards innovation.

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