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India to sign USD 10 billion offset contracts

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India has signed defence offsets contracts worth USD 3.3 billion and more such deals worth USD 10 billion are in the pipeline, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said here Tuesday.

Under the defence offsets policy, foreign vendors bagging deals worth over Rs 300 crore have to invest at least 30 per cent of the worth of the deal in Indian defence, civil aviation and homeland security sector.

"Offset contracts worth nearly USD 3.3 billion have been concluded so far and, I am told, that the total value of the offset contracts which are in the pipeline is estimated to be over nearly USD 10 billion," he said.

The minister was addressing a gathering on opportunities for co-development and partnership between India and Italy.

In the last few years, India has signed big ticket deals for procuring C-130J transport aircraft, C-17 strategic airlift aircraft, P8-I surveillance aircraft along with advanced fighter aircraft such as the Su-30 MKI.

It is also close to finalising the 'mother of all deals' for procuring 126 multirole combat aircraft and six new conventional diesel electric submarines.

Commenting on the Indo-Italian defence cooperation, Raju said there was a tremendous potential of increasing this partnership.

The two countries had signed an MOU on defence cooperation in November 1994 and renewed it in 2003. The eighth meeting of the India-Italy Joint Defence Committee was held here last year.

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