India to have USD 26 bn defence industry by 2025: Rajnath

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a business seminar ‘India Rising’, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce at ‘Defence & Security Exhibition 2019’ in Bangkok.

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today exhorted defence manufacturing companies to become part of ‘Make in India’, reaffirming the government’s commitment to achieve USD 26 billion defence industry by 2025.

Speaking at a business seminar ‘India Rising’, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce at ‘Defence & Security Exhibition 2019’ in Bangkok, he said, the defence sector has been given prominence under the ‘Make in India’ initiative to reduce dependence on imports and make India a major defence manufacturing hub and net exporter of defence equipment and platforms, an official statement said.

He informed that the government has set a target of taking India’s defence exports to USD five billion by 2025 under the ‘Draft Defence Production Policy 2018’.

“On one hand this target is ambitious, but at the same time it is encouraging that India’s defence exports have grown almost six-fold in the last two years,” he added.

The Minister said, USD 10 billion investment in aerospace and defence goods and services is expected by 2025 which could provide employment to 2-3 million people.

‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ was revised in 2016 to encourage the domestic defence industry. A new category ‘Buy Indian – IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) was introduced to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment, Rajnath Singh added.

“The government’s desire to establish two defence corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh is clear. A Defence Innovation Hub is already functioning in Coimbatore. A Defence Planning Committee has also been formed. In this regard, the Uttar Pradesh government has planned to build a defence manufacturing corridor along with the proposed Bundelkhand Expressway which will help in making India self-reliant in the field of defence production,” he said.

Highlighting the Government’s reforms to increase synergy between public and private sector, the Minister said that it had contributed positively in defence production and procurement.

“Work is on to introduce a common testing and certification scheme under a Public Private Partnership model to create an enabling environment,” he added.

He also voiced the government’s resolve to promote self-reliance in defence through five I’s (Identification, Incubation, Innovation, Integration and Indigenisation). Adding that the MoD has set a target to fund 250 startups, 16 personal initiatives and five defence innovation hubs through Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) in the next five years.

“A new Transfer of Technology (ToT) policy is being created to simplify the way of transferring technology developed by DRDO to the industry. So far, more than 900 ToT licensing agreements have been signed with industries which is a major step towards making the defence manufacturing sector self-sufficient,” he sadded.

The Minister invited domestic and overseas investors to actively participate in the forthcoming DefExpo to be held in Lucknow from February 5-8, 2020.