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Govt reserved 75 % of defence capital acquisition budget for purchases from local companies: Defence Minister

A file photo.

BENGALURU (PTI): The government has reserved 75 per cent of the defence capital acquisition budget, which amounts to approximately Rs one lakh crore, for purchases from local companies, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.

The move is to ensure adequate demand assurance for the domestic industries, he said at the 'India Manufacturing Show-2023' here, as he listed the steps taken for MSMEs in the defence sector.

"We are the first government which imposed restrictions on itself for the import of weapons. We released five positive indigenisation lists, under which 509 equipment have been identified, the manufacturing of which will now take place in India," Singh said.

In addition, the Minister said four positive indigenisation lists for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) were also promulgated, under which 4,666 items were identified, that will be manufactured within the country.

"These steps will strengthen our MSMEs and make them Aatmanirbhar'," he said.

Singh also referred to the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, which was launched to invite new ideas in defence manufacturing through start-ups and innovators.

He added that iDEX Prime was launched to support projects, requiring support beyond Rs 1.5 crore up to Rs 10 crore, to help the start-ups in the defence sector.

Singh highlighted the importance the government attaches to the small-scale industries and listed out a number of decisions taken to ensure their welfare.

These include the MUDRA (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd) scheme, launched in 2015, under which a provision was made to provide collateral-free loans to MSMEs. The government also provided additional credit worth crores of rupees to MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calling 'Laghu Udyog Bharti' a bridge between the government and the industry, he said it should make the government aware of the problems of small industries so as to find their solutions as soon as possible.

Singh noted that small industries of the country are progressing well through Laghu Udyog Bharti.

He exuded confidence that India will become self-reliant and a global manufacturing hub in the times to come, if the industries continue to move forward with hard work and dedication.

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