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Union Budget will boost domestic defence manufacturing industry, says PM Modi

Union Budget will boost domestic defence manufacturing industry, says PM Modi .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the big push to the  'Make in India' campaign for defence manufacturing in the Union Budget would help to overcome the challenges involved in procuring weapons from abroad for the country’s defence forces.

Addressing a webinar on 'Aatmanirbharta in Defence: Call to Action', the Prime Minister pointed out that close to 70 per cent of the defence budget has been kept exclusively for procurement from domestic industry.

"This year's budget has a blueprint for developing a vibrant ecosystem from research, design and development of manufacturing within the country. About 70 per cent of the defence budget has been kept for domestic industry only," he explained.

The Prime Minister said, “When we procure weapons from outside, the process is so long that by the time they reach our security forces, many of them become outdated. Its solution is in 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat campaign' and 'Make in India'."

The Prime Minister said that has been making weapons in the past." Even before and just after independence, the strength of our defence manufacturing was very high, and weapons made in India played a big role in World War II," he said.

"Although this strength of ours kept on weakening in later years, it shows that there was no shortage of capacity in India in those times and neither is it now," he explained.

He also said that the defence sector should tap India's strength in information technology while stressing that cyber security is integral to national security.

PM Modi stated that cyber security has become a matter of national security. He called for using the strength of India's Information technology (IT) sector in the defence sector.

"India's IT sector is our great strength. The more we use this power in our defence sector, the more confident we will be in our security. For example, cyber security is no longer limited to the digital world only. It has become a matter of national security," he said.

He also mentioned that in the last 5-6 years, the country has increased its defence exports by six times.

“Today we are providing 'Made in India' defence equipment and services to more than 75 countries," he said.

The Prime Minister recalled that last year, seven new defence public undertakings have been set up.

PM Modi said, "Our ordnance factories have shown that when we move forward with determination and full sincerity we achieve desired results. Last year, we created seven new defence public undertakings. Today, they are expanding capacities rapidly and are reaching new markets."

PM Modi also stated that more than 350 new industrial licenses have been issued for defence manufacturing in the last seven years in line with the government's encouragement to 'Make in India'. Whereas in the fourteen years from 2001 to 2014, only 200 licenses were issued, he added.

The objective of the webinar is to involve all the stakeholders in taking forward the various initiatives of the government in the defence sector.

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