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A 25% rise in defence output to create 1 lakh jobs: PM Modi

Modi said the government was keen to expand the role of private sector for Indian defence production and that preference would be given to defence products made locally

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

The News International Team

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said the government did not want India to be the biggest importer of defence equipment in the world, and vowed to double output of defence manufacturing in the country.

India’s annual defence import bill is roughly USD 20 billion. In contrast, India’s domestic defence production output is around USD 7 billion.

Modi said even a 20-25 percent decrease in defence import can create 2 lakh  jobs in the country. Also, a 25 percent hike in domestic defence output can create 1 lakh skilled jobs, he said.

Modi said the government was keen to expand the role of private sector for Indian defence production and that preference would be given to defence products made locally.

Last month, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar proposed major changes in the Procurement Procedure and Production Policy to provide greater autonomy to state-run suppliers and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) units for their expansion and diversification .

Many Indian companies are expanding their presence in the defence sector sensing an opportunity because of the government’s thrust on domestic production. It is estimated that the defence will become a USD 100 billion sector over the next 10 years.

Last week, the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group announced its foray into the defence manufacturing space.

The same week, market was abuzz with talk that M&M will acquire a controlling stake in Pipavav Defence.

Ashok Leyland is among the companies betting big on the defence sector, with Managing Director Vinod Dasari recently telling CNBC-TV18 that it expected a 10-fold rise in its defence revenues to around Rs 6000 crore over the next 5-6 years.

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