Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a fervent pitch for pushing domestic manufacturing and lowering dependence on imports, citing supply disruptions due to heightened geo-political risks and the Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing a post-Budget webinar, Modi flagged EVs, semiconductors, medical devices and speciality steel, and argued for shunning unwanted imports so that value addition and job creation could take place in India. He also invoked national security.
“Atmanirbharta (self sufficiency) is all the more important if we see from the prism of national security,” he said. “It is a losing proposition if you export raw material and import manufactured goods made with them. If a country like India is only a market (for foreign goods), then it can never progress nor give opportunities to the youth. During the pandemic, we are seeing how supply chains have been destroyed. When challenges come before us, need for Make-in-India increases,” he said.
The defence ministry offered four government-funded design and development projects to the Indian industry, which includes a light tank for the Army, as well as five other industry-funded projects. The other three government-funded development of projects under ‘Make-I’ category of the Defence Acquisition Procedure are communication equipment , airborne electro optical pods and airborne stand-off jammers, all for the IAF.