Rajnath urges pvt players to ramp up defence exports

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the 'Make in India in Defence' meeting at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. PTI Photo

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday urged defence players from the private sector to work towards boosting exports to friendly countries, saying the procedure to do so has been simplified.

Addressing CEOs of top defence and aerospace firms at a roundtable on the theme 'Make in India in Defence Industry' here, Singh said they have a huge opportunity to contribute to the domestic market in addition to exports.

The minister said the government wants to encourage private industry investment in defence and strengthen defence public sector undertakings and Ordnance Factory Board.

He also called for a multi-pronged approach to achieve the objectives of 'Make in India' initiative.

He said self-reliance in the defence sector would not be possible without the development of indigenous technology and called for steps to develop related technologies within the country.

"The defence minister urged the industry to work towards increasing exports to friendly countries. He said the export procedure has been simplified and the defence procurement procedure was revised in 2016 to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture," a statement from the defence ministry said.

Singh said the Indian defence industry's production was Rs 80,000 crore in 2018-19, of which the private sector contributed Rs 16,000 crore.

He said the strategic partnership model has been notified to establish defence manufacturing infrastructure and supply chain through which Indian companies could choose a partner through a competitive and transparent process.

He added that the FDI policy in the defence sector has also been liberalised.

On the offset processing, Singh said the ministry has set up an end-to-end offset processing portal through which proposals valued at USD 1.5 billion were processed.

Entry barriers for medium, small and micro enterprises were also reduced, resulting in doubling of defence licenses issued from 215 in 2014 to 440 in 2019.

He said the Defence Investor Cell established a year ago in the ministry has processed nearly 550 queries and grievances. 

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