A great deal of Prime Minister Modi’s focus has been on two things – manufacturing in India & defence. In what can be seen as a major success for the government in both these departments, India’s defence exports have almost doubled since 2013-2014.
In 2013-2014 India’s defence exports were $174 million, which crossed $309 million in 2015-2016.This has been revealed by documents from the Ministry of Defence. The Modi Government has set an ambitious target of exporting $2 billion worth of defence equipment by 2017-2018 which is roughly 6.5 times of what India is currently exporting!
- It granted production licenses to 116 Indian companies. This will immensely aid in the production of indigenous defence equipment.
- It also issued 54 industrial licenses to private companies to manufacture aviation items like aircrafts, UAVs, lighter-than-air-vehicles, remotely piloted vehicles, parts & accessories for aircrafts, airframe sets, & other such equipment.
- Also, the government is more liberally giving out export licenses to companies. Defence companies got 241 ‘no objection certificates’ in 2015-16 which is more than six times in comparison to 2014-15.
India has primarily been exporting patrol vessels, helicopters & their spares, sonars & radars, small arms, grenades, etc. but now is focusing heavily on production & export of aviation & naval equipment. This has happened because it has received positive response from selling items to nations that are troubled due to an expansionist China.
PM Modi has made it amply clear that India can’t go on importing weapons from other nations. Not only is this method costly & runs the risk of defected equipment, this also robs Indian youth of excellent jobs.
India’s defence budget stands at a bit more than $50 billion a year. With fast economic growth, this budget will expand rapidly in the coming years. Instead of giving this money to foreign companies & creating jobs there, the government wants to invest this within the country. This will mean jobs, technological advancement, & production of weapons that are more suited to Indian needs.
The world spends trillions of dollars at purchasing arms, & this is fast rising as China & India develop. Japan recently announced its highest military budget ever & France called for a boost to its military spending as well. The world presents a lucrative market for Indian companies to cater to these ever-growing needs, & Prime Minister Modi desires to make India a defence-manufacturing hub.