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100 pc FDI in defence sector will strengthen army: Rao Inderjit

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SHIMLA (PTI): Defending the NDA government's decision to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in defence sector, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh on Tuesday said it would help make Indian army strong by acquiring state-of-the-art technology.

"The inflow of FDI would help in acquiring state-of-the-art technology and indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment and the army would not be dependent if there is any problem with our neighbours," the Union Minister of State for Defence said on the sidelines of International Yoga Day programme.

"We would not have to take the help of other countries as we will have in-house capacity to respond to threats from neighbours," Singh said.

Terming Indian army as one of the best armies in the world, he said despite being highly professional and well trained, it is lacking in modern equipment and state-of-the-art weaponry.

Rao said earlier the FDI in defence was capped at 49 per cent and rest was managed through Foreign Investment Board but now if anyone sets up an industry and provides employment, the government would clear it which would give boost to "Make in India" programme.

"We want India to become a major investment hub and for this door of FDI is open," he said.

He said, "We had manufacturing capacity for decades but we were not having the design and development capability and even the industrialists were wary of investing in design and development."

"But now when best designed technologies would be manufactured in India, foreign direct investment would flow into the country and give boost to its economy," Singh said.

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