Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed his government’s firm resolve to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing with transparency, predictability and ease of doing business.

Since 2014, the government has taken steps to bring about de-licensing, de-regulation, export promotion and foreign investment liberalisation in the defence sector, he said addressing a webinar on effective implementation of the Union Budget provisions in the defence sector.

Modi said the webinar assumed great significance as it was focusing on the important issue of making the country’s defence sector self-reliant.

He recalled that there used to be hundreds of ordnance factories before independence. In both the world wars, weapons at large scale were exported from India. But, for many reasons, this system has not been strengthened as much as it should have been after independence, he added.

The Prime Minister said his government has relied on the capabilities of Indian engineers and scientists on developing the Tejas fighter aircraft. Today the Tejas was flying gracefully in the skies. A few weeks back, an order worth Rs. 48,000 crore was placed for Tejas.

He said India has made a list of 100 important items related to defence, which could be manufactured indigenously with the help of Indian industries. He said a timeline has been set so that the domestic industries could plan to meet these requirements.

He said it was called a negative list in the official language but it was actually a positive list in the language of self-reliance. Modi said that a part has been reserved for domestic procurement even in the capital budget of defence. He urged the private sector to come forward and take up both designing and manufacturing of the defence equipment so that the Indian flag could be kept flying high on the global stage.

He said that MSMEs work as a backbone for the entire manufacturing sector. The reforms that were taking place today were giving more freedom to MSMEs and encouragement to expand.

The Prime Minister said the defence corridors that were being built in the country today would also help local entrepreneurs and local manufacturing.