Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition amidst fanfare at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru. This edition of Aero India, for the first time, combines the defence and civil aviation segments. More than 600 Indian Companies and 200 Foreign Companies are participating and witnessing the largest Air show of Asia.
During her address Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said that lately India had established itself as the hub of manufacturing and export of various world class avionics equipment.
She added that the country now had the potential for “Nose to tail production”. She hailed the “Make in India” initiative of the Government which provided the impetus for increased self-reliance in Defence and stressed on the need for instituting provisions for design and manufacturing facilities to create a ‘robust supply chain system’.
Talking about Defence procurements, Raksha Mantri added that during the last four years, 150 contracts worth Rs 1,27,500 Cr had been signed with Indian vendors for procurement of defence equipment for the Armed forces.
She also mentioned that the Government had accorded AoN to 164 proposals worth Rs 2,79,950 Cr under ‘Buy and Make” categories only to the Indian vendors.
She added that the VoP in respect of OFB and DPSUs had grown from 43,746 Cr in 2013-14 to Rs 58,163 Cr in 2017-18, out of which 40% of the production had been outsourced to the Private Sector and that the Government had also issued RFP for the manufacture of seven identified types of ammunition to the private sector.
She applauded the 10,000 MSMEs which made 80% of components, aggregates and assemblies of complex weapon systems and aircrafts.
She also informed that more than 424 companies had obtained the licence for Defence production which was almost doubled the number in last four years.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman stated the ‘Defence Investor cell’ which was set up in Jan 2018, to enhance the ‘Ease of doing Business’ and informed that over 350 industries had been facilitated to date. She also mentioned that 275 Ordnance Factory items had been de-notified and also that testing facilities of DPSUs and OFs had been opened up for private industry.
She added that 34 projects relating to Army, Navy and Air Force had already been accorded ‘Approval in Principle’ under the ‘Make-II’ category. The FDI policy had been revised and now foreign investments up to 49% were allowed through the automatic route and above 49% under Government route.
In the last four years, six companies in Defence and Aerospace sectors had obtained government approval for FDI of Rs 237 Cr while FDI of over Rs 200 Cr had been received through the automatic route.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman further stated that the government was committed to create an enabling environment for defence manufacturing, the results of which are already visible.
She said, “With the policy initiatives and the procedural reforms, I am confident that India will emerge as a key player in the global defence arena. We will create an ecosystem in which there would be enhanced technological collaborations of the public as well as private sectors with the foreign Defence OEMs. Strategic partnerships will be forged with increased integration of skills, systems, technologies and manufacturing capabilities.”