|Published: November 2021|
New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held consultations to enhance investment in the UP Defence Industrial Corridor (UPDIC) at the Chief Minister’s residence in Lucknow on November 12.
The Defence Minister listened to the views of representatives of private defence industries present at the meeting and was briefed on the progress of investments in UPDIC.
Appreciating the presence of a large number of industry representatives, Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that a strong defence manufacturing ecosystem will soon be created in Uttar Pradesh helping to achieve ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We understand the needs, risks and strengths of our industries. If anyone has the capacity to make our country self-reliant at the earliest, it is our industries, and I have been emphasising this on various platforms”, the Defence Minister said. He described the setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as one of the many steps that reflects the Government’s unwavering commitment to cater to needs of defence industries.
The Defence Minister also announced that the Government is considering a centrally-sponsored scheme to incentivise investments in Defence Industrial Corridors and develop the defence manufacturing ecosystem.
He said that for the first-time, private industries have been given a share in domestic manufacturing, adding that from 2014 till date over 350 licences were issued to private industries compared to 200 licences issued between 2000 and 2014.
He further informed that Policy provisions are being considered to encourage the private sector in Design and Development Projects.
Rajnath Singh responded to specific proposals from industry representatives and said that the Ministry of Defence will consider and act on all suggestions to bring in reforms to boost the defence industry.
Listing out some of the initiatives of the Government, the Defence Minister said UPDIC will provide connectivity, resources and environment to defence companies and open up new opportunities.
“Free Transfer of Technology by DRDO and increase in FDI limit for access to cutting-edge technologies of the world are some of the steps taken by us to promote use of indigenous technology in the private sector,” he said.
The Defence Minister said that the Government has concluded contracts with global giants which will enhance operational capabilities and capacity and most of the defence platforms will be manufactured in India through ties ups with Indian companies.
Shedding light on the importance of domestic procurement, the Defence Minister said the government has earmarked around 64 per cent of its modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for procurement from domestic companies.
He added that the ‘MAKE’ category has been reformed and Innovation for Defense Excellence (iDEX) launched to encourage MSMEs and startups. He mentioned that, Rs 1,000 crore ($134 million) has been allocated for iDEX related purchases, which will be increased further in the future. Separately, Rs 500 crore ($65 million) has also been allocated to support our start-ups for the next five years, he said.
The Defence Minister credited the defence industries with laying the foundation of India’s progress from an importer to an exporter, adding that defence exports have grown by 334 per cent in the last five years and today India is exporting to 75 countries.
He urged the anchor defence industries to identify more areas of research & development and manufacturing, adding that big domestic business houses and foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) subsidiaries have not only been invited to tap into the potential of UPDIC but also to listen to their views.
Rajnath Singh applauded the UP Chief Minister for acting with urgency to create a conducive business environment in the state in the last four years. Speaking on the reforms initiated by the state government he said, “the new policy reforms, coupled with the ever-increasing ranking in ‘ease of doing business’, have paved the way of industrial development in the state and taken ‘Uttar Pradesh’ on the path of ‘Uttam Pradesh’”.
The Defence Minister said that he was informed that the state government has worked on land acquisition on all nodes of UPDIC and this will continue at a fast pace. He underlined the importance of law and order for investment and said that the state government has done commendable work in this regard.
Saying that the Union Government is working hand-in-hand with the state government to promote R&D and growth of MSMEs, Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that the UP Defence Industrial Corridor will become the vehicle of Industrial Revolution in Uttar Pradesh in the times to come.
The presence of industry representatives and other stakeholders in large numbers is an indication of a constructive dialogue between the government and other stakeholders in defence industry, he said.
The Defence Minister concluded his address by saying that the UP Defence Industrial Corridor will play a crucial role in creating a strong defence & aerospace sector in Uttar Pradesh and realise the Government’s dream of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Addressing the gathering, Yogi Adityanath said that from amongst investment proposals received in the UP Investors’ Summit, proposals worth more than Rs three lakh crore have been operationalised and production has started in most of them.
He said that the participation of representatives of over 1,000 companies from more than 70 countries in the Defence Expo 2020 in Uttar Pradesh was significant for UPDIC.
He added that Uttar Pradesh has educational institutes like IIT BHU and IIT Kanpur and technical industries to promote R&D in defence.
The Chief Minister thanked the Defence Minister for approving two major projects of Brahmosand Bharat Dynamics Limited in the UPDIC, informing that land has been made available for both projects.
The Chief Minister expressed hope that investments in Uttar Pradesh would enable the state to contribute to the Prime Minister’s goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and help India become an export hub in the defence sector.