New Delhi, 3rd April, 2023. Several policy initiatives and reforms have been taken by Government in the past few years to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment, thereby promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing in the country. These initiatives, inter-alia, include according priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020; Notification of four ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ of total 411 items of Services and three ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ of total 3,738 items of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them; Simplification of Industrial licensing process with longer validity period; Liberalisation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy allowing 74% FDI under automatic route; Simplification of Make Procedure; Launch of Mission DefSpace; Launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme involving start-ups & Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); Implementation of Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017; Launch of an indigenisation portal namely SRIJAN to facilitate indigenisation by Indian Industry including MSMEs; Reforms in Offset policy with thrust on attracting investment and Transfer of Technology (ToT) for Defence manufacturing by assigning higher multipliers; and Establishment of two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; Opening up of Defence Research & Development (R&D) for industry, start-ups and academia with 25 percent of defence R&D budget; Progressive increase in allocation of Defence Budget of military modernization for procurement from domestic sources, etc. These policy initiatives have given a push to the growth of Industries including MSMEs in defence sector which have created tremendous employment opportunities. However, no employment data is maintained by Ministry of Defence. The information cannot be shared being strategic and sensitive in nature.
The Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative has helped the country by encouraging indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country, thereby reducing dependency on imports in long run. The expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources has reduced from 46% of overall expenditure in 2018-19 to 36.7% in December, 2022. Moreover, the Indian defence export has risen by more than eight times since 2016-17. In 2016-17, the defence exports were worth Rs 1,522 crore which has gone up to Rs 13,800 crore till date.
This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt in a written reply to Shri Nalin Kumar Kateel and others in Lok Sabha on 3rd April, 2023.