Union defence minister Rajnath Singh, during a webinar on the defence budget organised by the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), said the ministry has set aside 63 per cent of the defence budget outlay for domestic procurement only to boost 'Make in India' and Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
"My Ministry has planned to invest about 63% of the outlay for 2021-22 on domestic procurement, i.e. about Rs 70,221 crore for domestic defence procurement during 2021-22. This increase will have a positive impact on enhanced domestic procurement, having a multiplier effect on our industries, including MSMEs and start-ups. It would also increase employment in the defence sector," the minister said.
He said the Ministry of Defence has notified a 'Negative list' of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on import beyond the timeline indicated against them. "This is a big step towards achieving self-reliance in defence. This would offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces in the coming years," Singh said.
Talking about the government's initiatives to achieve self-reliance, Singh said the steps taken by the Centre have resulted in staggering 700 per cent growth in defence exports in the last six years. "India entered in the list of top 25 exporters in the world as per data published by SIPRI in 2020. We have also notified the Open General Export License (OGEL) - a one-time export licence, which permits the industry to export specified items to specified destinations, enumerated in the OGEL," he added.
To widen the investment base, the Centre has also enhanced FDI in the defence sector up to 74 per cent under automatic route and 100 per cent under the government route, he said.
"The opening up of the defence sector for private sector participation is helping foreign OEMs enter into strategic partnerships with Indian companies and leverage opportunities in the domestic market as well as global markets," he said, adding the FDI in India in the defence sector has jumped by over 200 per cent as Rs 2,871 crore worth FDI has been invested in the sector in last six years.