Defence contracts worth Rs 50,000 cr on the anvil: Manohar Parrikar

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Mumbai, Oct 12: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said he expects another Rs 50,000-60,000 crore worth of defence contracts to be signed during the remaining quarters of the financial year, taking the total orders to Rs three trillion since he took charge two years ago.

"During the past 23 months that I have been in charge, we have signed contracts worth Rs 2.2 trillion. Recently, we signed a letter of intent with a government-run shipyard for about Rs 32,000 crore, taking the total orders to Rs 2.5 trillion."

50,000 cr defence contracts on the anvil

"Over the next six months, I hope to sign another Rs 50,000-60,000 crore worth of contracts, taking the total 3 trillion," the minister told reporters on the sidelines of an industry exhibition on technology and material sciences in Navi Mumbai near here.

The Cabinet Committee on Security had in August cleared a proposal to get Goa Shipyard build mine counter measure vessels for the Navy at an estimated cost of over Rs 32,000 crore.

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Answering a question on the impact of the manufacturing push with private participation in the defence space, he said exports have jumped over six-times to Rs 3,000 crore from Rs 500 crore in the past two years alone.

"The Make in India initiative has seen defence exports from Rs 500 crore to Rs 3,000 crore, though the ministry figures will show only Rs 2,100 crore. One reason for this is that export of aviation sector items are not included in this as it has been delicensed." Parrikar explained that the Defence Ministry tabulates only those goods that are in the licensed segments.

As many 65 per cent of defence sub-segments are de-licensed now and are, therefore, not in the information list of the defence ministry. "If we include the gains from the offset clause, our defence-related exports should be about USD 1 billion, out of which defence items alone are worth Rs 3,000 crore, which I hope to increase it to Rs 10,000 crore soon," he said.

When asked about the inflows through the FDI route after foreign director investment cap was hiked to 49 per cent, he said so far it has been about USD 100 million but will go up as foreign capital flows in at stages. Parrikar also said the ministry is finalising a new strategic materials policy so that we can promote production as well as storage of defence-related strategic materials.

"We have set up a study team to draft a new strategic materials policy to promote the sector, which involves production and storage of these materials," he said.

PTI 

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