(This article is originally posted by the India Today)
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday outlined the government’s twin visions of modernisation its armed forces and becoming one of the biggest defence manufacturers while inaugurating the Aero India 2021. The event, held at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, is being touted as the world’s first hybrid aerospace show.
On defence modernisation and exports
“We plan to spend $130 billion on defence modernisation in the next seven to eight years. Besides, there is a vision to make India one of the biggest defence manufacturers. We are aiming exports worth Rs 35,000 crore in aerospace,” Singh said while addressing the event, the country’s premier aerospace and defence exhibition.
In the Budget, the capital outlay for military modernisation was hiked by almost 19 per cent to Rs 1,35,061 crore from last year’s budgeted Rs 1,13,734 crore.
“Domestic manufacturing of bigger and complex defence platforms has now become focus of our policy under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan‘,” Singh said.
To attract foreign investments in the defence sector, Singh said the government had enhanced FDI in defence sector up to 74 per cent through the automatic route and 100 per cent through the government route.
On challenges from China, Pakistan
Taking a swipe at China and Pakistan, the Defence Minister underscored that India was facing threats and challenges emanating from multiple fronts.
“India is a victim of state sponsored and state inflicted terrorism, which is now a global threat. We have long witnessed unfortunate attempts to employ force to change status quo along our unresolved borders. India is vigilant and prepared to counter and defeat any misadventure to defend our people and the territorial integrity at all costs,” Singh said.