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India's defence industry is fulfilling security needs of friendly countries: Rajnath Singh

BENGALURU (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that irrespective of the ideology, there has always been consensus from all quarters towards attaining the goal of complete self-reliance, and India's defence industry is also fulfilling the security needs of friendly countries.

The Minister chaired a meeting of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 'Self-reliance in Defence Manufacturing' in Bengaluru, an official release said.

During the meeting, the members of the committee from both the Houses of Parliament were apprised about the initiatives taken by the MoD to achieve 'Aatmanirbharta' in defence and the progress achieved, so far, due to the decisions.

The Minister highlighted the Government's constant endeavour to enhance the security of the country and make the Armed Forces technologically advanced to deal with "challenges emanating out of the ever-evolving global scenario."

Terming "demand assurance" as one of the most important aspects to ensure self-reliance, he stated that a number of decisions have been taken to achieve the objective.

These include constant increase in defence budget, including capital outlay; earmarking of record 75 per cent of defence capital procurement budget for domestic industry in financial year 2023-24 and issuance of positive indigenisation lists.

Singh asserted that the Government's decisions have started to bear fruit and today the country is indigenously manufacturing submarines, fighter jets, helicopters and weapons.

He added that the growing defence industry is not only catering to the domestic requirements, but also fulfilling the security needs of friendly countries.

"In the last financial year, our defence production crossed Rs one lakh crore and exports touched Rs 16,000 crore. This is proof that the defence sector and the nation at large are on the right path,” Singh was quoted as saying in the release.

The Minister appreciated the fact that irrespective of the ideology, there has always been consensus from all quarters towards attaining the goal of complete self-reliance.

"If we wish to make India a defence exporter instead of an importer, we must stand together in every situation with the idea of 'Nation First'. Only then will we be able to achieve the goal of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat',” he said.

During the course of the discussion, the members of the committee gave valuable suggestions, which were appreciated by the Minister, who stated that efforts will be made to incorporate them, the release said.

Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt; Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan; Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane; Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Vijoy Kumar Singh and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, Samir V Kamat were also present in the meeting, the official release said.

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