Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that there was a time when the Tejas project was to be closed in the files, but his government revived it and today the indigenous fighter jet project is flying in the sky with glory.
“India is aggressively working to enhance its capabilities and capacities. There was a time when our own fighter jet project was being closed in the files. But my government believed in the engineers and scientists and today the Tejas project is flying in the sky with glory,” Modi said during a webinar for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Union Budget for the defence sector.
“We have century-old experience when it comes to making arms and ammunition. During World War I and II, India supplied weapons and defence equipment. But post-Independence, due to many reasons, the situation deteriorated. Today, even for small arms we are relying on imports. We are now one of the largest defence importers, which is not a matter of pride,” he said.
Expressing faith in India’s engineers, scientists, innovators and researchers, Modi said that the country is now prepared to change the scenario of dependency on imports.
The Prime Minister also said that few weeks ago, an order worth Rs 48,000 crore was placed which would benefit many inb the MSME sector.
The government has awarded a contract worth Rs 48,000 crore to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for supply of 73 MK-1A Tejas jets and 10 MK-1 trainer aircraft to the Indian Air Force.
The Prime Minister also talked about a ban on 100 items for import till 2024.
“The Centre has made a list of 100 items for import embargo. It makes us ‘Aatmanirbhar’ as our manufacturing capability will improve, and reliance on other countries will reduce and there’ll be job creation,” he said.
Modi also said that without the private sector, the defence manufacturing ecosystem can’t flourish in the 21st century.