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India focusing on promoting domestic defence production: Sitharaman

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CHENNAI (PTI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said the Government was focusing on promoting domestic defence production to build capacities for catering to the need of the Armed Forces.

In this direction, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came up with the idea of two defence corridors – one each in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh, she said.

Sitharaman said at present there are several manufacturers who send their components to various big vectors and platforms manufactured outside.

"Why is it that we won't be able to produce those very vectors and platforms in India? And that is one of the reasons -- that by announcing the corridor, we have invited quite a lot of manufacturers from abroad to come, choose the location where they want to establish their unit and start producing defence equipment," she added.

Sitharaman, who was addressing the Tamil Nadu government's second Global Investors' Meet (GIM) in Chennai, recalled that holding of the Defence Expo last year in Tamil Nadu marked the first time the event was held in the state.

Following that, a lot of industries evinced interest in undertaking defence related manufacturing in the state, she added.

She also assured the Centre's full cooperation to realise Tamil Nadu's aspirations for greater industrialisation.

Speaking on the occasion, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said around 35 companies from Tamil Nadu, including MRF, had signed Transfer of Technology agreements with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Besides, an aerospace and defence components manufacturing unit was being established in Coimbatore by LMW, he said, adding that "many more such projects are on the anvil."

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