20 August 2019
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that India needs to cut down dependency on foreign manufacturers in defence production and instead develop indigenous comprehensive capabilities.
Singh was delivering the inaugural address at a seminar on 'Modernisation and Indigenisation of the Indian Air Force (IAF)' here.
He praised the IAF for striking the terrorist hubs in Pakistan.
"The recent offensive strikes against terrorist forces in our neighbourhood speaks volumes about the reach and lethality of the formidable armed forces. However, the IAF needs to keep pace with advancement in technology in order to enhance its operational capabilities."
Singh said India continued to be one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world.
"Of that which is produced within the country, there is a sizeable dependency on foreign original equipment manufacturers for sub-systems and components. We need to cut down dependency on foreign manufacturers and develop comprehensive capabilities ourselves," he said.
In his address, Singh listed out a number of policy initiatives taken by the government to promote indigenous production of defence equipment.
The cumulative production of all defence industries in the country in 2018-19 was about Rs 80,000 crore. The contribution of private sector defence industries to it was in the range of Rs 16,000 crore.