The recent relaxation of foreign investment norms in the defence sector will transform the country into an “export hub” for weapons and armaments in the future, according to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
“The government has taken a big step in defence sector by permitting 100 per cent FDI in the sector. This has been done so that India becomes export hub over the years as well as self reliant,” Parrikar told FICCI here on Monday.
On exporting various defence items from India, he added that several countries have already shown interest in buying weapons from India.
“It has tentatively been decided to export 10 per cent of them to countries who were interested, while keeping the remaining 90 per cent for use by India,” Parrikar said.
The minister also highlighted to the fact that big-ticket investments in the defence sector are in the pipeline.
“Allowing of 100 Per cent FDI in defence is just an enabler, major global defence companies will invest when they are sure of orders from India and other countries. Tie up of foreign companies having technology with major Indian companies including TATA’s and Mahindra are already on and huge foreign investment is in the pipeline in defence sector,” he said.
Addressing a session by the FICCI Ladies Organisation, the Defence Minister said the armed forces will see larger participation of women especially in the Navy. He added that new ships are being modified with infrastructure to accommodate women in the Navy.
He said an all women battalion is also on the cards. “An idea of having all women battalion is also mooted and steps are being taken to accomodate women in National Defence Academy (NDA) and Sainik Schools. Women entrepreneurs in corporate houses can play greater role in defence production, research and support and take advantage of new government policy of greater private participation,” he said.
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