India to become a defence export hub: Parrikar

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India is taking concrete steps to make the country an export hub in defence and completely self-reliant. As a first step, it has been decided to double the production capacity of two defence establishments in Odisha.

“The government has taken steps in defence sector by increasing FDI. This has been done in order to make India an export hub over the years,,” Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said while addressing a meeting with the ex-servicemen in Odisha.

Parrikar said by the end of the present government’s first term, import of defence material by India should be down to 40 per cent from 70 per cent when the government took charge. He also rejected apprehensions that local manufacturers would suffer following increased FDI in the sector.

Parrikar said when the NDA government came to power, rate of import of defence material by India was 70 per cent. “Now, import of defence items has come down to below 60 per cent. I can assure that by the time the government ends its first term, we will be able to bring down our imports to 40 per cent,” he said.

The minister said the production capacity of of HAL, Sunabeda will be doubled in 3-4 years. The expansion work will start at Sunabeda in 6 to 7 months, he said.

He said the implementation of the one rank, one pension (OROP) had got delayed as the ex-servicemen have not been able to furnish the required documents on time.

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