Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that another list of items relating to the defense industry that will not be imported from other countries will be notified next month.
He also said defense equipment purchases from the private sector will not be limited to 15% but will go far beyond.
“Another list of items that will not be imported will be notified in March 2021,” he said in his closing remarks in a “Webinar on Budget Announcements 2021-22: Galvanizing Efforts for Atmanirbhar Bharat” on effective implementation of the Union Budgetary provisions in the defense sector.
Last year, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an import embargo.
Mr Singh shed light on plans to spend $ 130 billion on military modernization over the next five years, citing the recent order for 83 locally designed and developed MK 1A light fighter jets, Tejas, from a value of Rs 48,000 crore, awarded to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) during the recent Aero India 2021.
He added that the contract for the locally designed light combat helicopter is expected to be signed soon.
The Minister of Defense further stated that the Letter of Intent (LoI) for Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) will be handed over to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd so that the helicopters can be inducted into the armed forces coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the independence of India.
The conversion of the “AON” contract (Acceptance of Necessity) would be completed within two years under close monitoring.
“Projects worth Rs 500 crore to Rs 2000 crore will be announced on a competitive basis and will be finalized within one year,” he said.
Mr Singh added that a “fund of funds” worth Rs 10,000 crore has been established for start-ups and MSMEs. Full support would be provided to the defense and aerospace sector in the use of the fund.
Acceptance in principle would be granted for at least five Make-1 projects this year, he added.
In his opening remarks, Singh said that the defense budget saw an unprecedented 18.75% increase in capital spending over the previous year and 30% the year before, which is the highest in the last decade and a half.
He highlighted the close cooperation between the armed forces and manufacturers to narrow the gap between the aspirations of the armed forces and the actual delivery by the manufacturers.
He said that “Make in India, Make for the World” is the only mantra for keeping up with the latest technological advancements and staying frugal at the same time. Stressing that the defense industry can only thrive by globalizing, he said, the government is actively promoting not only domestic manufacturing but also an export-oriented defense industry.
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