The Raksha Mantri highlighted the Government’s constant endeavour to enhance the security of the country and make the Armed Forces technologically advanced to deal with challenges emanating out of the ever-evolving global scenario. Terming demand assurance as one of the most important aspects to ensure self-reliance, he stated that a number of decisions have been taken to achieve the objective. These include constant increase in defence budget, including capital outlay; earmarking of record 75 per cent of defence capital procurement budget for domestic industry in Financial Year 2023-24 and issuance of positive indigenisation lists.
Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that the Government’s decisions have started to bear fruit and today the country is indigenously manufacturing submarines, fighter jets, helicopters and weapons. He added that the growing defence industry is not only catering to the domestic requirements, but also fulfilling the security needs of friendly countries. “In the last financial year, our defence production crossed Rs one lakh crore and exports touched Rs 16,000 crore. This is proof that the defence sector and the nation at large are on the right path,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri appreciated the fact that irrespective of the ideology, there has always been consensus from all quarters towards attaining the goal of complete self-reliance. “If we wish to make India a defence exporter instead of an importer, we must stand together in every situation with the idea of ‘Nation First’. Only then will we be able to achieve the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.
During the course of the discussion, the members of the committee gave valuable suggestions, which were appreciated by the Raksha Mantri. He stated that efforts will be made to incorporate the suggestions.
Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt; Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan; Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane; Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Shri Vijoy Kumar Singh and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat were also present in the meeting.