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Capital procurement proposals worth Rs 2.46 lakh cr for armed forces approved in last 3 years: Govt

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Government on Monday said that it has accorded approval to 163 proposals worth Rs 2,46,989 crore under various categories of capital procurement for the armed forces in the last three years.

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, also said the share of procurement from domestic firms has been on an upward trajectory.

"The government, in the last three years that is from 2019-20 to 2021-22 and current year (2022-23 up to September 2022), has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 163 proposals worth Rs 2,46,989.38 crore approximately, under various categories of capital procurement which promote domestic manufacturing as per DAP-2020," he said.

The AoN is the initial approval for any defence project. Procurement is done under the framework of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP).

Bhatt said the share of domestic firms in the total procurement was at 54 per cent in 2018-19. It jumped to 59 per cent in 2019-20 and to 64 per cent in 2020-21, he said.

This year, it has increased to 68 per cent for domestic procurement, of which 25 per cent has been earmarked for procurement from the private industry, the Minister said.

"With focus of the government on indigenisation and procurement of defence products from the domestic resources, the expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources has reduced from 46 per cent to 36 per cent in the last four years that is from 2018-19 to 2021-22," Bhatt said.

To a separate question, he said defence imports in 2021-22 was 50,061.68 crore while it was Rs 53,118.58 crore in 2020-21, Rs 47,961.47 crore 2019-20 and Rs 45,705.57 in 2018-19.

On India's defence exports, Bhatt said it was Rs 12,815 crore in 2021-22, Rs 8,435 crore in 2020-21, Rs 9,116 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 10,746 crore in 2018-19.

He said the defence exports this year, till date, has been estimated at Rs 6,058 crore.

Asked about the schemes launched by the government to make the country self-reliant in the field of weapons and defence equipment and the targets that have been achieved so far, Bhatt said the desired information is "sensitive in nature and its disclosure is not in the interest of national security."

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