Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Nirmala Sitharaman brushes aside Army's concerns over shortage of funds

Nirmala Sitharaman brushes aside Army's concerns over shortage of funds

Under the make in India program, the current government is trying to become a hub for manufacturing of defence equipment, currently, India is one of the largest importers of the military weapon. Speaking at DefExpo in Chennai, Sitharaman on said that India will soon highlight as a manufacturer of defence products and country's export potential.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate Defence Expo - a biennial exhibition of weapons and military hardware - here tomorrow though he will observe a day-long fast, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today. I want to drive a thin line between one the government's enthusiasm to make sure that production capabilities are such that they can meet global standards and be export worthy and the other side of the line where army, navy or Air Force, make their decisions on what they want, what combination of equipment they want and in that combination, if an Indian produce type fits in then they take it.

"The fact that India ranks amongst the top ten countries in the world in terms of its military expenditure, makes it one of the most attractive markets for defence".

"They are doing it, they are buying India-made products, but that may not be as much as you or me want", she said. "I am also telling the forces to procure from the indigenous sources, but the forces are free to decide what they need for their readiness".

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Over 650 exhibitors, including some 520 Indian companies, are participating in the event.

The government of India is set to invest a whopping $250 billion to revive India's ageing defence arsenal against multiple external threats to national security. The 2016 edition had been held in Goa and all previous editions had been held in Delhi. A total of 232 foreign companies had participated in Goa, while it is 154 this time. The major defence manufacturing countries like Israel, France, Korea, Sweden, Russia, US, UK is taking part in the expo. The exhibition is spread over an area of 2.90 lakh square feet. Other exhibits will include Tejas fighter jets, Dhanush artillery tank and Advanced towed artillery gun systems.

The DRDO is showcasing the Nirbhay missile system with its launcher, MBT Arjun Mk-I tank, Astra missile, low-level transportable radar system, medium power radar system and Varunastra - heavyweight anti submarine electric torpedo.

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