75 percent of defence capital budget earmarked for domestic firms: Rajnath Singh
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Pawan Bali
NEW DELHI: In a major move to push "Make in India", defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday announced that 75 per cent of funds allocated in Union Budget 2023-24 for equipping the Army, Navy and Air Force with new weapons and technology will be spent on purchases from domestic industry. This amount will come to around Rs 1 lakh crore, that will be pumped into the domestic economy to boost defence manufacturing in India.
The defence ministry has been constantly raising the share of the capital procurement budget for domestic industry. The share of domestic capital procurement was 64 per cent in 2021-22, which was hiked to 68 per cent in 2022-23.
In the Union Budget, the capital outlay which goes in buying weapons and modernization and infrastructure development was hiked by around Rs 10,000 crores to Rs 1.62 lakh crores for FY 2023-24.
"If you take one step, the government promises to take ten steps forward. You spoke of land to run on the path of development. We are providing you the full sky. Earmarking three-fourths of the capital procurement budget for the local industry is a step in that direction," said Mr Singh at the "bandhan" ceremony of 14th Aero India in Bengaluru. He was confident that with this, Indian industry will come forward with more enthusiasm and contribute in making the defence sector more powerful and prosperous.
The "bandhan" ceremony also saw 266 partnerships, including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, nine product launches and three transfers of technology, worth around Rs 80,000 crores.
The MoUs included one between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Safran Helicopter Engines of France for work share for formation of a joint venture for design, development,
manufacture and lifetime support of helicopter engines. The Bharat Electronics Ltd and Aeronautical Development Agency also inked an MoU for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
These MoUs were signed with many MSMEs, startups and leading companies -- some of whom are suppliers to global majors, including Airbus and Boeing. Some of the startups which have signed MoUs are working on some cutting-edge innovations like drone applications, space applications, anti-drone systems and advanced communication systems.