Since the Modi government has come to power, an extensive shift in the policies and priorities is visible. The traditional approach of gradual development and transformation has been replaced with the meteoric and revolutionized focused growth. ‘Make in India’ & ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ have shown India’s willingness to completely put an end to its dependency on the import of technology from other nations and also exhibit its determination to become a self-reliant and self-sufficient nation. According to Mr. Tribhuvan Darbari, “The Government has opened up the Defence industry for private sector participation that will provide impetus to indigenous manufacturing.”
100% FDI in the defence sector is one such initiative. In order to further encourage procurement from local Indian suppliers, in May 2020, the Indian government issued a Public Procurement Policy to boost the Make in India initiative, and encourage the manufacturing and production of goods and services indigenously in India. In June 2020, the Ministry of Defence under the leadership of Shri Rajnath Singh put a ban on the import of defense weapons that can be indigenously manufactured. According to Mr. Tribhuvan Darbari – MD & CEO, Texmaco (Adventz Group), “These initiatives by the Government of India will encourage private sector participation in the defense manufacturing industry and will boost economy and employment as well.”
Mr. Tribhuvan Darbari says that this is just the beginning, still, these initiatives are significant and will prove to be milestones in the modernization of defence sector.
According to a study released recently “Private Sector Participation in Indian Defense Industry 2020”, the share of Indian companies in the total value of contracts awarded by the Defence Ministry of India for the procurement of defense equipment has swollen gradually over the last five years and stands at ~75.03% in FY 2020 (as of January 2020). According to the Ministry of Defence, over the last four years, from FY 2016 to FY 2020 (up to January 2020), a total of 158 contracts were signed with Indian vendors, which include private sector defense manufacturers/MSMEs/SMEs and start-ups, against 100 contracts with foreign vendors for the capital procurement of defense equipment for the armed forces.
Mr. TS Darbari says that recently In a major boost to the armed forces, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had approved the procurement of defence equipment for an approximate cost of Rs 8,722.38 crore, including 106 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The step will strengthen the armed forces by relying on indigenous capability to take forward the initiative on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
Adding further, Mr. TS Darbari says, “The Indian defence industry has immense potential. Within the upcoming years, we’ll witness a significant rise in the export of defence products. Extensive defence modernization plans, an increased focus on homeland security and the growing attractiveness of India as a defence sourcing hub will provide a significant boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.”
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