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Rs 70,000 crore boost for domestic purchases, LCH order soon

As part of a series of efforts to streamline defence procurement, Rajnath Singh said the defence ministry is also working on bringing down the delays in timelines of capital acquisition. 

Rs 70000 crore boost for domestic purchases, LCH order soon-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Feb 22, 2021, 2:07 PM IST
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Aiming to give a fillip to the government's ambitious 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative, over Rs 70,000 crore of the capital allocation out of the Rs 1.35 lakh crore defence budget has been reserved for domestic procurements and a second negative list of items is being prepared that will ban certain imports. 

Speaking at the webinar for effective implementation of Union Budget provisions for the defence sector to boost self-reliance, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "My Ministry has planned to invest, about 63 per cent of the outlay for 2021-22 on domestic procurement, i.e. about Rs 70,221 crore for domestic defence procurement during for 2021-22."

In 2020-21, in a first, the government made a provision for separate allocation for domestic procurement within the defence budget and had reserved Rs 52,000 crore. 

In the 2021-22 defence budget, the capital allocation for defence witnessed an increase of over Rs 21,000 crore compared to the Budget Estimate of the previous year. The total defence budget this year stands at Rs 4.78 lakh crore including defence pensions of Rs 1.16 lakh crore. 

As part of a series of efforts to streamline defence procurement, Rajnath Singh said the ministry is also working on bringing down the delays in timelines of capital acquisition. 

"We will make efforts to complete the defence acquisition within 2 years, instead of the existing 3-4 years being taken on the average," he said.

Last year, the defence ministry had announced a list of 101 items on the negative import list. 

During the webinar, he said: "We now intend to notify the next list of items and would also request Secretary Department of Military Affairs that they should also consider including certain spares currently being procured from outside so that we could indigenize the same. I look forward to the discussion on this subject later today."

"The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024. All necessary steps would be taken to ensure that timelines for production of equipment as per the negative import list are met," he stated.

Talking about the aerospace and defence goods and services sector, Singh said, "The defence ministry has set a target to achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000 crore (US$ 25 Bn) including export of Rs 35,000 crore (US$ 5 Bn) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by the year 2024."

He also informed that the contract for an indigenously designed Light Combat Helicopter is likely to be signed soon.

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