NEW DELHI: Calling for greater private sector participation in the defence production sector, PM Modi on Monday said India was already exporting military equipment to over 40 countries in its quest to become a top arms supplier in the world in the years ahead.
“Without the participation of the private sector, the 21st century ecosystem of the defence sector cannot stand on its feet,” the PM said while addressing a webinar with industry chambers on effective implementation of the Union Budget’s provisions in the defence sector. The PM said the government, the public and private sectors have to work in accordance with a “timebound action plan and roadmap” to ensure India builds a robust defence-industrial base and emerges as a major arms exporter.
“Since 2014, we have been working to usher in transparency, predictability and ease of doing business in the defence sector. We have taken several strong steps including delicensing, deregulation, export promotion and FDI liberalisation,” Modi said. To promote the ‘Aatmanirbhar’ campaign, the government in August last year had announced a negative arms imports list, under which the acquisition of 101 items from abroad are to be progressively banned.
He assured industry captains that any defence equipment that can be designed, developed and produced in India will no longer be imported. “Smaller countries are also now looking up to India to meet their needs in defence because India is capable of providing lowcost manufacturing and delivering quality products,” he added. Ruing the fact that India was among the biggest arms importers in the world, he said, “ Indians don’t lack talent and capabilities. It had become an easy way out to import weapons earlier.”