'India's Defence Industry Will Be Worth $26bn By 2025': Rajnath Singh

Economy

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday, said the government was committed to working towards achieving a USD 26 billion defence industry by the year 2025

Written By Ria Kapoor | Mumbai | Updated On:
India's Defence Industry

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday, said the government was committed to working towards achieving a $26 billion defence industry by 2025. He also added that the government’s focus is to achieve exports of $5 billion in the next five years. While addressing the second annual session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers in New Delhi on Tuesday, he said the government has identified the defence sector as one of the most prominent industries under "Make in India" initiative and is expected to realize $5 trillion economy by 2024.

'Defence sector- a prominent industry': Rajnath Singh

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Further talking about the need to reduce dependency on arms imports, the Minister said several steps have been taken under the 'Make in India' initiative to make the country one of the major defence manufacturing hubs and a net defence exporter. He also said that the government would not hesitate to initiate more measures if required.

According to a Defence Ministry release, Rajnath Singh said the Defence Production Policy reflects the resolve of the government to achieve $26 billion defence industry with an anticipated investment of USD 10 billion in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025. He also said this will provide employment to about 2-3 million people.

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He mentioned that the government has introduced many far-reaching reforms in the past five-and-a-half years to create an ecosystem where private and public sectors contribute together according to their respective strength and experience and that the reforms have been a success and have touched almost all aspects of defence production and procurement.

The Minister went on to explain about the simplification of procedures for defence exports and said that it has resulted in the export of Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19, which is nearly seven times the export achieved in 2016-17 and a target of USD 5 billion for exports has been set till 2024.

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Describing India as a big defence industrial base, he said there are nine Defence Public Sector Units, 41 ordinance factories, 50 dedicated Research and development labs and many other establishments were included in it. He also mentioned that there are about 70 licence holding private companies.

Singh said the government has simplified industry licensing process, increased the FDI cap and taken necessary steps to promote defence exports, while also adding that the defence offset policy has been streamlined and government-owned trial and testing facilities have been provided to the private sector. Two Defence industrial corridors have been launched in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

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He also spoke about the government's initiatives to promote start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises. He said at present over 8000 MSMEs were engaged in defence production and that efforts are on to double this number to 16,000.
Talking about the "Make" procedure, 40 industry development proposals have been given in-principle approval, till date.

Eight such projects would have an estimated value of Rs 2,000 crore in the next five years. As against 215 defence licences issued till 2014, the number of such licences issued went up to 440 by March 2019, he added. Singh said Defence Procurement Procedure was revised in 2016 to stimulate the growth of domestic defence industry.

According to him, a new category 'Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured')} was introduced to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment. He also said that in recent times, most of the capital procurement approvals by the Defence Acquisition Council were given under indigenous development and production, while also mentioning that the strategic partnership model has been introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure to ensure that private sector manufactures big-ticket items like fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and armoured vehicles. "This will help Indian private companies to evolve into global giants in coming years," he said.

Explaining the symbiotic relationship between innovation and enterprises to boost manufacturing, Singh said that Innovation for Defence Excellence (IDEX) has been launched to promote innovation and technology development and that forty-four winners have been chosen in 14 projects under two defence innovation Start-up Challenges (DISC).

The Defence Minister also talked about the strong IT industry of the country. He said that a roadmap has been prepared to promote Artificial Intelligence in national security to make India a significant power in Defence AI. It has been planned to develop 25 defence-specific AI products by 2024.

He further added that steps were being taken to make defence manufacturing sector self-reliant and that a new Transfer of Technology (ToT) policy is under process. He said that the new transfer will pave the path of transferring DRDO-developed technologies to the industry.

He mentioned that till now over 900 ToT licencing agreements have been signed with the industry which is a major step towards making defence manufacture sector self-reliant. According to the release, Singh assured the defence manufactures of all possible support from the government. He also said that the government is open to new ideas and is committed to fully harness the energies, entrepreneurship spirit and enterprise of the private sector in the defence sector.

Rajnath Singh to launch new Naval Projects

On a related note, Rajnath Singh will fly in the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru, on September 19. He is also going to be in Mumbai on September 28, to launch three new Naval projects- the commissioning of the second Scorpene submarine INS Khanderi, the first P-17A warship Nilgiri and inauguration of Aircraft Cartier Drydock, in the city.
(With ANI Inputs)

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