The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has so far spent Rs 2.37 lakh crore on the modernisation of armed forces in the last four years, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Defence on Monday.
"During the last three financial years (2016-17 to 2018-19), 149 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors (91) and foreign vendors (58) for capital procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces," said Shripad Naik, Raksha Rajya Mantri, in a written reply to P. Bhattacharya in Rajya Sabha today.
Giving a break-up of the expenditure, the minister said Rs 75,900.54 crore had been spent in 2018-19, Rs 72,732.28 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 69,280.16 crore in 2016-17. In the calendar year 2018-19, the government has spent Rs 19,560.27 till the month of May.
"In May 2001, the defence industry sector, which was hitherto reserved for the public sector, was opened up to 100% for Indian private sector participation, with foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 26% both subject to licensing," the minister said.
He further added that the Centre has revised FDI policy under which "foreign investment is allowed under automatic route upto 49% and beyond 49% through government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded".
Naik said that government is working towards modernisation of the armed forces, through procurement of new equipment and upgrading of existing equipment and systems. "The modernisation projects are being progressed as per the approved capital acquisition plans and in terms of the extant defence procurement procedure."
Since the launch of 'Make in India' in September 2014, the government has taken several measures to promote indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence and aerospace equipment in the country by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector, he said.
"Government has notified the strategic partnership (SP)' model which envisages establishment of long term strategic partnership with Indian entities through a transparent and comparative process, wherein they would tie up with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chain," he added.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar