The Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) relentless efforts have resulted in a significant milestone in the Financial Year (FY) 2022-23, with the value of defence production surpassing Rs one lakh crore for the first time ever. Currently standing at Rs 106,800 crore, this figure is expected to increase further as data from the remaining private defence industries are accounted for. Compared to the previous FY 2021-22, which recorded a value of Rs 95,000 crore, the current value reflects a remarkable growth of over 12 per cent.
The Government has been actively collaborating with defence industries and their associations to overcome challenges and foster defence production across the nation. A range of policy reforms has been implemented to streamline the ease of doing business, including the integration of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as start-ups into the defence supply chain.
These proactive policies have yielded positive outcomes, as industries, including MSMEs and start-ups, have wholeheartedly engaged in defence design, development, and manufacturing. Notably, the Government has witnessed an astounding nearly 200 per cent increase in the number of defence licenses issued to industries over the past 7-8 years. These measures have significantly invigorated the defence industrial manufacturing ecosystem within the country, consequently generating substantial employment opportunities.
Defence Exports Reach All-Time High In Financial Year 2022-23
India’s defence exports have also reached an all-time high of Rs 15,920 crore in the financial year 2022-2023, almost Rs 3,000 crore more than the previous financial year and a whopping 10-fold rise since 2016-17. The country’s defence exports in 2021-22 was Rs 12,814 crore, Rs 8,434 crore in 2020-21, Rs 9,115 crore in 2019-20, and Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19, Rs 4,682 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1,521 crore in 2016-17, official data revealed last month.
India is now exporting to over 85 countries. Indian industry has shown its capability of design and development to the world, with 100 firms exporting defence products at present. The Defence Ministry targets to raise India’s annual defence exports to $5 billion by 2024-25 and it has set a goal of a turnover of $25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years. Towards this, it has brought in several new policies, such as earmarking 75 per cent of its capital budget for 2023-24 towards procurements from domestic sources and four positive indigenisation lists of items, with the embargo on imports beyond timelines specified against them.
4th ‘Positive Indigenisation List’ to Boost Domestic Sector
The Defence Ministry has approved a fresh list of 928 components and subsystems, which will only be procured from domestic industry after a ban on their import kicks in under a staggered timeline of around five-and-a-half years last week. It is the fourth such “Positive Indigenisation List (PIL)” comprising line replacement units, sub-systems and components used for various military platforms, equipment and weapons.
The MoD has set specific timelines for the import ban of the items, spanning the period from December 2023 to December 2028. This list is in continuation to the three similar PILs that were brought out in December 2021, March 2022, and August 2022.
“These lists contain 2,500 items which are already indigenised and 1,238 (351+107+780) items which will be indigenised within the given timelines,” the ministry said. Of 1,238, 310 items have been indigenised so far, it said. The items which were already indigenised comprised 262 from the first PIL, 11 from the second list and 37 from the third PIL, according to the Ministry.
The Ministry on Sunday said the aim of the move is in sync with the government’s overall aim to promote ‘Aatmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) in defence production.