By Staff Correspondent
In a significant pivot towards bolstering self-reliance in defence production, India’s government has earmarked 75% of its defence capital acquisition budget for local procurement, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh declared at the ‘India Manufacturing Show-2023’ in Bengaluru.
This reservation, translating to about ₹1 lakh crore, is designed to provide substantial demand assurance to India’s nascent defence industry, Singh elucidated, underlining a series of initiatives aimed at nurturing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) within the sector.
The government’s stance marks a notable shift in policy, with Singh highlighting, “This is the first administration to impose import constraints on itself regarding weaponry. Our release of five indigenisation lists identifies 509 items for domestic production, effectively curbing their import.”
Extending the indigenisation effort, the Defence Minister revealed that an additional four lists have been dedicated to Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), earmarking 4,666 items for local manufacturing.
“These measures are set to empower MSMEs and drive the nation towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India),” Singh asserted.
Singh also spotlighted the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, a programme inviting innovative defence manufacturing solutions from start-ups and technology entrepreneurs.
Further extending support, iDEX Prime has been introduced to provide funding ranging from ₹1.5 crore to ₹10 crore for advanced projects, offering a financial lifeline to defence-focused start-ups navigating the demanding sector.