Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh while addressing a webinar on "Budget Announcements 2021-22" on Monday said that the Centre will make efforts to complete the pending defence acquisitions within 2 years. The Defence Minister remarked on the ongoing efforts to promote private participation in the defence sector. He also mentioned that in the last 6 years, the Central government has bought many reforms.
Rajnath Singh said, "There is a clear focus of the government on 'Ease of Doing Business to encourage foreign Original Equipment manufacturer (OEMs), to set up manufacturing units in India, develop joint ventures and promote private participation in the defence sector."
Informing that the Ministry is also working on bringing down the delays in timelines of capital acquisition, the Defence Minister assured that the Centre will make efforts to complete defence acquisition within 2 years, instead of the existing 3-4 years being taken on the average.
Speaking about the implementation of Union Budget's provisions in the Defence sector, Rajnath Singh said that the Ministry of Defence aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 1.75,000 Crore (USD 25 billion) including export of Rs 35,000 Crores (US$ 5 Bn) in aerospace and defence goods and services by the year 2021. "The Union Budget for the year 2021-2022, stands out as a unique initiative of our government because it brings a healthy mix of promise, potential and progress. Its forward-looking agenda provides support for the defence and security of the country," he added.
Terming the COVId-19 pandemic as a severe setback to economic growth in the general and the industrial sector, in particular, the Defence Minister said that its impact was felt more by MSME's, given the challenges of disruption in supply chains and liquidity.
"To widen the investment base, the Government of India has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74 per cent under Automatic Route and 100 per cent under Government route. This would further act as a catalyst for foreign players to invest in India. Due to these reforms, the FDI in India in the Defence sector has jumped by more than 200 per cent. Rs. 2,871 Crore worth FDI has been invested in the defence sector in last 6 years," he added.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Annual Budget in Parliament, on February 1. India's first paperless budget, her speech lasted for 1 hour 40 minutes - a big reduction from her previous 2 hours 40-minute speech in 2020. Encompassing several sectors under Aatmanirbhar Bharat - Health and Well-Being, Physical and Financial capital and infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, Finance Minister has also focused on asset monetisation, fiscal deficit etc. Amid the farmers' protest and COVID-19 pandemic, Budget 2021 focused on healthcare and agriculture.