Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)
New Delhi: The percentage of capital expenditure incurred by the armed forces for the import of equipment and military hardware witnessed a steady decline in the last three years, data provided by the government in Lok Sabha on Friday showed.
According to the details furnished by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the armed forces spent ₹38,156 crore on importing military hardware in 2019-20 which was 41.89 per cent of the total capital procurement.
In 2020-21, the capital expenditure on imports was ₹42,786 crore but the percentage came down to 36 compared to the overall procurement of hardware.
The capital expenditure on imports in 2021-22 was ₹39,650 crore and it was 35.28 per cent of total procurement.
Mr Singh said India’s defence exports have grown eightfold in the last six years — from ₹1521 crore in 2016-17 to ₹12,815 crore in 2021-22.
“The major contribution in this growth has come from the private sector. During 2021-22, the private sector has contributed almost 70 per cent of the total exports.
According to the details provided by Singh, contribution of the private sector in India’s defence exports in 2016-17 was ₹194 crore while the total value of exports was ₹1,521 crore.
In 2017-18, the value of India’s total exports was ₹4,682 crore including ₹3,163 crore worth of exports by the private sector.
The contribution of the private industries went up to ₹9,813 crore in 2018-19 while the total volume was ₹10,746 crore.
In 2019-20, the total exports were valued at ₹9,116 crore out of which ₹8,008 crore was from the private sector.
The volume of exports in 2020-21 was ₹8,435 crore which included the contribution of ₹7,271 crore by the private industries.
The total defence exports went up to ₹12,815 crore in 2021-22 out of which ₹8,800 crore was contributed by the private sector, the details furnished by Singh showed.
“About 80 countries import Indian defence equipment, sub-systems, parts and components. However, the names of the countries cannot be divulged due to strategic reasons,” Singh said.
The government has initiated a series of measures in the last few years to boost domestic defence manufacturing.
India is one of the largest importers of arms globally. According to estimates, the Indian armed forces are projected to spend around $130 billion in capital procurement in the next five years.
The government now wants to reduce dependence on imported military platforms.
The defence ministry has set a goal of a turnover of $25 billion (₹1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years that included an export target of $5 billion worth of military hardware.