By Ayaskant Das
New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) The department of defence production has set itself a target of producing equipment worth Rs 90,000 crore in the financial year 2019-20. Exports worth Rs 15,000 crore have been envisaged from the total quantity of equipment produced.
The target set by the department for 2019-20 is nearly 12 per cent higher than the production achieved in the previous financial year. In the financial year 2018-19, the department had produced equipment worth Rs 80,502 crore.
Exports had accounted for Rs 10,745 crore worth of equipment in the financial year 2018-19.
According to the department, greater focus will be placed on modernisation and indigenisation of domestic manufacturing in order to boost production.
Speaking at a seminar on modernisation and indigenisation of the IAF in New Delhi on Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stressed upon the need to reduce dependency on defence imports. He had also said that India continues to be one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world.
“Of that which is produced within the country, there is a sizeable dependency on foreign original equipment manufacturers for sub-systems and components. We need to cut down dependency on foreign manufacturers and develop comprehensive capabilities ourselves,” Singh had said.
Defence production in India has grown from Rs 74,121 crore in the year 2016-17 to Rs 80,502 crore in 2018-19. In the year 2017-18, defence production in India had touched Rs 78,817 crore.
Defence exports have witnessed a tremendous growth from Rs 1,521 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19. In 2017-18, the exports figure had stood at Rs 4,682 crore.
As per ministry sources, part of this steep increase in exports is owing to the government policies and initiatives.
“Boost for Indian Defence Exporters. UK appoints Mr Dominic Beales, in British High Commission Delhi as local liaison officer for support to Indian exporters in defence/aerospace,” tweeted Secretary (Defence Production) Dr Ajay Kumar on Wednesday.
The department of defence production is one of the four wings functioning under the Defence Ministry and has an officer of the rank of Secretary at its helm of affairs. The department deals with matters pertaining to defence production, indigenisation of imported stores, equipment and spares, and planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Public Sector Undertakings.