NEW DELHI ;
INDIA is working hard to enhance its capabilities and capacities in the defence-manufacturing sector at a fast pace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, noting that there were hundreds of ordnance factories before independence with large-scale weapons export from the country in both world wars but this system was not strengthened. Addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of the Union Budget’s provisions in the defence sector, the Prime Minister listed a series of measures taken by his Government to boost self-reliance in the defence sector and rued the fact that the country is amongst the biggest defence importers in the world.
“An India that has the capacity to reach Mars could have made modern weapons also, but it became an easy way to import weapons from abroad,” he said. But now, the country is working hard to change the situation and also to enhance its capacities and capabilities at a fast pace, the Prime Minister asserted. “Before independence, we used to have hundreds of ordnance factories. In both the world wars, weapons at large scale were exported from India. But for various reasons, this system was not strengthened as much as it should have been after independence,” he said.
“The condition is such that even for small arms, we have to look at other nations. India is amongst the biggest defence importers and this is not a matter of pride,” Modi stressed. On the defence budget, the Prime Minister said a part has been reserved for domestic procurement even in the capital budget of defence. A total amount of Rs 4.78 lakh crore has been earmarked for the Defence Ministry in the 2021-22 budget, with a nearly-19-per cent increase in capital outlay, he said.