All defence equipment to be manufactured within India from now: Rajnath Singh

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that India will manufacture all defence equipment within the country from now. India cannot remain dependent on other nations for its security needs, Singh said, adding that the decision has been conveyed to all “friendly countries” like the US, Russia and France.

Speaking at the annual convention of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Singh said, “Because of India’s stature, geographic location and the security challenges, we cannot remain dependent on other nations for defence technologies. We all understand this truth.”

He stated that it is important that “we have the defence capacity and capability that even the strongest country in the world should think twice before raising an eye against India.”

He added, “Our capability and capacity will not be prepared with the intention to attack anyone, but our objective is to give a befitting response to any ill-intentioned actions of an adversary.”

Saying that “most of the countries in the world are India’s friends”, Singh pointed out that senior delegates from the US, Russia and the French defence minister have recently visited the country. “I have told all the friendly nations that in interest of India’s security, we want to manufacture all defence equipment within the country now.”

Commenting about the challenges posed by the country’s western and northern neighbours, Pakistan and China respectively, Singh said, “God has given us some neighbours who aren’t happy with India’s prosperity. One of them was born out of partition, and since then has been losing weight over India’s progress.”

Without naming China, the defence minister stated that one of our neighbours “keeps on creating new designs on India”.

Speaking about the government’s push for the domestic defence manufacturing industry, Singh said, “We are asking the world to come make in India, to make for India and to make for the world.”

Several international defence companies want to come and manufacture their products in India, he said, and added that when they come, it will create a defence ecosystem in the country.

He also mentioned that the positive indigenisation list, as per which import of over 200 systems won’t be allowed to be imported, the list, Singh said will go beyond 1000 within a decade. “Keeping the potential of the defence and aerospace industries in mind, the government has brought reforms to several policies to encourage indigenisation, development and design.”

“The defence and aerospace sector is worth around Rs 85,000 crore, and it will touch Rs 1 lakh crore in 2022. The government’s vision is to make India a global manufacturing hub for defence,” Singh said, adding that he wants the sector to be worth Rs 5 lakh crore by 2047.

“The government wants that country’s defence exports to touch Rs 35,000 crore by 2024-2025. The country will become a net exporter of defence systems,” he said.

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