Lucknow, Feb 5: Aiming to attract foreign investors to India and make products for India and the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that the government has set a target of $5 billion defence exports over the next five years.
Speaking after inaugurating the 11th edition of Defence Expo in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh here, Mr Modi accused the previous dispensation for ignoring defence sector which has led to dependency on import of defence equipment.
He said a country of the size of India cannot entirely depend on imports and added that the number of defence licenses issued in 2014 was merely 217 but in the last five years the number has grown up to 460.
“India is building several defence equipment like artillery guns, aircraft carriers, submarines, light-combat aircraft, and combat helicopters, the Prime Minister said.
“Our mantra is ‘Make in India, for India, for world’. In 2014 the export of defence equipment from India was about Rs 2,000 crore. In the last 2 years it has gone up to Rs 17,000 crore. In the next five years our target is export of $ 5 billion, which is about Rs 35,000 crore,” Mr. Modi added.
The Prime Minister also said that the experts who keep track on defence and economy know that India is not only a market but also provides vast opportunity for the world. Mr Modi also said that Rs 20,000 crore will be invested in India’s two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh Defence and Tamil Nadu. “Investment worth of Rs 3700 crore for UP defence corridor and Rs 3100 crore for Tamil Nadu defence corridor have already received,” he added.
He also asserted that Uttar Pradesh is going to be one of the biggest defence manufacturing hubs in India. Lack of proper policy initiative in the last several decades made India the biggest importer of defence platforms, he added.
Citing misuse of technology, terrorism and cyber threats as challenges being faced by the world, Mr Modi said that the defence forces across the globe are evolving their technologies considering new threats. “India is also not lagging behind,” he added.
He said a roadmap had been finalised to use the application of artificial intelligence in the defence sector. On creation of CDS, he said, “The creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff and the Department of Military Affairs will boost the overall defence production,' he told the gathering.
“We are going to enhance our presence in outer space in coming years,” he said, adding that the DRDO is putting up effective protection for India’s assets in outer space created by ISRO. “Our defence preparedness is not aimed at any country as India is a reliable contributor to world peace. It’s our responsibility to ensure security of not only India but countries in the neighbourhood as well,” he said. For Indian manufacturers, he said, “The Industry and industry bodies should create a common platform for development of technology.”
Inviting foreign companies to set up their manufacturing units in India, Mr Modi assured them that every rupee invested, will yield return. (UNI)