Noting the country's growing capabilities in the Defence sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India is exporting defence equipment to more than 40 countries and working towards becoming one of the major exporters in the world.
Speaking at the webinar for effective implementation of Union Budget provisions in the Defence Sector, PM Modi said, "Today, we are exporting defence equipment to more than 40 countries. We have to come out of the list of importing nations in the defence sector and become a major exporter in the sector."
The Prime Minister pointed out that despite India's century-old experience in making arms and ammunition, today the country still is one of the largest defence importers in the world.
"We have century-old experience when it comes to making arms and ammunition. During WW I and II, India supplied arms and ammunition. But post-independence, the situation deteriorated, even for small arms we are relying on small countries," he said.
"Today we are one of the largest defence importers. And this is not something to be proud of. Let's be clear, Indians don't lack talent and we don't lack capabilities," said PM Modi while citing how the nation bolstered its capacity in building ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The country which has the capability to reach planet Mars, was fully capable of producing modern weapons. But importing weapons was the easy way out, which we took," he added.
Prime Minister said further said India is working in full swing towards increasing its capacity and capabilities in the defence sector.
"From 2014, we have tried to inculcate transparency, predictability and ease of doing business in the sector. We have taken several strong steps in this sector including delicensing, deregulation, export promotion and liberalisation of foreign investment," he said.
To promote the Aatmanirbhar campaign in the Defence sector, PM Modi said, "The Centre has made a list of 100 items for import embargo. It makes us 'Aatmanirbhar' as our manufacturing capability will improve, reliance on other countries will reduce and there'll be jobs."
"After more than a decade, there has been a 19 per cent increase in the capital outlay in the defence sector. After independence, for the first time emphasis is being laid to increases the participation of private players in the Defence sector," he said.
On the increasing participation of the private sector in the Defence sector, PM Modi said," Without the participation of the private sector, the 21th Century ecosystem of the Defence Sector cannot stand on its feet."
Noting that India will play a big role in helping the small countries in their defence capabilities, PM Modi said, "Small and poor countries look up to India for their needs in the Defence sector because India is capable of producing low-cost manufacturing and quality product."