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Defence Ministry Signs 50 Manufacturing MoUs With Global Helicopter, Jet Makers

The production of helicopters and jets in India will create employment opportunities for at least 1 lakh skilled workers, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Photo Credit : PTI

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The Defence Ministry on Monday (February 15) signed about 50 MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with global companies including manufacturers of jets and helicopters as part of Make in India week, said Manohar Parrikar, Union Minister for Defence.

“Defence ministry has addressed procedural bottlenecks and 70 per cent of the license requirement has been done away with,” Parrikar said at a press conference at the ongoing Make in India exhibition in Mumbai. The production of helicopters and jets in India will create employment opportunities for at least 1 lakh skilled workers, Parrikar said adding that the defence procurement procedure has been finalised and will be released next month.

The defence minister also said that the public sector undertakings in defence have seen their exports rising by two times in the last few years and it is set to rise further as they are planning to double their production capacity with 10 per cent of their production earmarked for exports.

Highlighting the in-house defence capabilities, the minister revealed that India's Akash missile is now 90 per cent indigenously designed and developed, while the next variant of the missile is in advance stages of development. Sharing the rising confidence of Air Force about quality products made in India, Parrikar told reporters that the Air Force is now willing to buy 100 units of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

"All the initiatives under Make in India will take the country’s economic growth to unimaginable heights from the current levels of 7-7.5 per cent," Parrikar added.

Make in India week, which is organised by government of India in partnership with state of Maharashtra has been showcasing India's capabilities in manufacturing sector.

Speaking at a seminar at the same venue, Parrikar and India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitaraman also assured their full support and government collaboration in taking into consideration of various industry recommendations to move forward on the policy reforms. The key focus in these reforms will be on creating an ecosystem for skill development, technology and innovation and R&D.

Providing his perspective on the recent major reforms in the defence sector, Parrikar stated that with the opening up of foreign direct investment (FDI) to 49 per cent, no pendency in approvals for offset and exports, and the amendments in the new Defence Procurement Policy, the Indian defence industry is moving in the right direction to be a key beneficiary and contributor of the Make in India campaign.

While, the commerce minister lauded the cooperation received from all the states governments in moving forward on the state level reforms identified under the central government’s Ease of Doing Business campaign. "The government is there to play the role of a facilitator and not that of a regulator in this overall industry development programme," she said.