India’s defence exports increased by 325 per cent in the last five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, as he pointing out that both private and public sectors are working hand in hand for national security.
Speaking at an event organised by the Defence Ministry to dedicate the seven new defence companies to the nation, Modi said the decision to create these companies was stuck for a long time, adding that these seven new companies would form a strong base for the military in the country in the times to come.
Noting the glorious past of Indian ordnance factories, the Prime Minister said that upgradation of these companies was ignored in the post-Independence period, leading to the country’s dependence on foreign suppliers for its needs.
“These seven defence companies will play a major role in changing this situation,” he said.
The government converted the Ordnance Factory Board from a government department into seven 100 per cent government owned corporate entities, as a measure to improve self-reliance in the defence preparedness of the country.
Modi also mentioned that these new companies would play an important role in import substitution, in line with the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).
An order book of more than Rs 65,000 crore reflect the increasing confidence of the country in these companies, he added.
Modi recalled the various initiatives and reforms undertaken in the recent past that have created trust, transparency and technology-driven approach in the defence sector like never before. Today, private and public sectors are working hand in hand in the mission of national security, he said.
The Prime Minister cited the defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as examples of the new approach. He noted that as new opportunities are emerging for the youth and MSME, the country is seeing the result of the policy changes made in the recent years.
“Our defence exports have increased by 325 per cent in the last five years. It is our target that our companies not only establish expertise in their products, but also become global brands,” Modi said.
He urged that while competitive cost is our strength, quality and reliability should be our identity. He further mentioned that in the 21st century, growth and brand value of any nation or any company is determined by its R&D and innovation.
The Prime Minister appealed to the new companies that research and innovation should be a part of their work culture, so that they just don’t catch up but take lead in future technologies. This restructuring would provide more autonomy to the new companies to nurture innovation and expertise, and the new companies should encourage such talent, he added.
Modi also urged the startups to become a part of this new journey through these companies to leverage the research and expertise of each other.
He mentioned that the government has given these new companies not only a better production environment, but also complete functional autonomy. He reiterated that the government has also ensured that the interests of the employees are fully protected.
The seven new defence companies are: Munitions India Limited (MIL); Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI); Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India); Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) (Troop Comfort Items); Yantra India Limited (YIL); India Optel Limited (IOL); and Gliders India Limited (GIL).