Bengaluru: An approximate record amount of Rs 1 lakh crore, which is 75 percent of the defence capital procurement budget has been earmarked for domestic industry in FY 2023-24, up from 68 per cent in 2022-23.
This was announced by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh during the Bandhan ceremony of 14th Aero India in Bengaluru on February 15.
In FY 2023-24, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been allocated a total Budget of Rs 5.94 lakh crore, which is 13.18 per cent of the total budget (Rs 45.03 lakh crore).
Capital outlay pertaining to modernisation and infrastructure development has been increased to Rs 1.63 lakh crore.
Rajnath termed the decision as an unprecedented step taken by the government at the outset of ‘Amrit Kaal’ to further strengthen the defence sector and minimise import dependency.
“If you take one step, the government promises to take ten steps forward. You spoke of land to run on the path of development. We are providing you full sky. Earmarking three-fourth of the capital procurement budget for the local industry is a step in that direction,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri exuded confidence that with this step, the Indian industry will come forward with more enthusiasm and contribute in making the defence sector more powerful and prosperous.
He was of the view that a strong and self-reliant defence industry not only strengthens the security system of the country, but also bolsters the economy.
He highlighted that, in the last few years, a domestic industry-friendly environment has been created in the country provides a runway for the local companies to grow and ensure holistic development of the nation while catering to the security needs of the friendly countries, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.
The Bandhan ceremony also witnessed the forging of 266 partnerships including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, nine product launches and three Transfers of Technology, worth around Rs 80,000 crore.
Rajnath stated that the MoUs and ToTs completed during Bandhan will pave the way for enhanced FDI in defence and take the manufacturing in the sector to greater heights.
He defined Bandhan as not just an agreement between two sides limited to economic benefit, but a new resolution to bolster the nation in the defence domain.
He also emphasised that the partnerships forged with friendly countries will take their bilateral collaboration with India to the next level.
The Raksha Mantri stated that Aero India showcased to the world the ‘New Defence Sector’ of ‘New India’, which has not only grown in the last few years, but is now fully ready to walk alongside the defence sectors of leading countries.
He expressed satisfaction that the event paved the way to strengthen the Indian defence industry, terming it as the beginning of a new era of ‘Aatmanirbharta’.
He exuded confidence that the sector will move forward strongly on the path of progress with new energy and determination.
Rajnath described Karnataka as one of those historical states which has been consistently contributing to the country’s economic progress.
He stated that there could not be a better place than Karnataka to organise Aero India as the state has attracted local as well as international industries with its robust R&D manufacturing ecosystem.
Karnataka Chief Minister Shri Basavaraj Bommai, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, and Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, were present at the occasion.
Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Shri Samir V Kamat, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka Smt Vandita Sharma and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence & state government were present during the ceremony.