Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday assured industry that any military hardware that Indian companies were capable of designing and manufacturing within the country would not be procured from abroad.
Speaking at an event on the proposals in the budget to boost domestic manufacture of defence hardware, Modi urged Indian companies to take the initiative not only in manufacturing but also in design and development of state of the art hardware. The event was hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.
The prime minister’s comments are in line with his plans to reduce India’s dependency on defence imports and make Asia’s third largest economy a significant manufacturer of armaments.
At the biennial DefExpo last year, Modi had set industry the task of exporting $5 billion in made in India military equipment by the year 2025. To kickstart the Indian economy after almost two months of hard lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, the Modi government had announced a number of measures to boost manufacturing to make India self reliant under the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme. In defence, the government had allowed 74% foreign ownership in companies to attract private investment from abroad.
That India figured consistently among the top arms importers in the world was not a matter of distinction, the prime minister said in his comments on Monday.
Among the steps taken to encourage local manufacturing was a list of 101 platforms that India had decided to source locally, the prime minister said.