Acknowledging that defence manufacturing has been adversely affected due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday exhorted MSMEs to make India ‘Atma Nirbhar’ (self-reliant) in defence technology and products.
Addressing MSMEs E-conclave via video conferencing, Singh termed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the backbone of the Indian economy that accelerate GDP growth, earn valuable foreign exchange through exports and provide employment opportunities.
Asserting that keeping MSMEs strong is one of the priorities of the government, he said there are more than 8,000 MSMEs, tiered partners of many defence organisations – ordnance factories, DPSUs and service organisations.
They contribute more than 20 per cent of the total production of these organisations, Singh said at the conclave jointly organised by Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Department of Defence Production.
Citing the example of the United States where the domestic defence industry developed within a short span of two years during World War-II, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said India should have its own defence industry.