Explaining the rationale for recently raising foreign equity in the sector to 49 percent from the previous 26, he spoke of the impact of the changes introduced by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
Jaitley was addressing the India Global Forum conference here.
He said, "We may be opening up a new area of opportunities in the defence sector. Since I became minister, the DAC meets every month and I hope the practice will continue."
"We have followed up our (49 percent) FDI decision by a series of orders. Earlier, there used to be orders of purchase (from foreign companies), like that made for 56 transport aircraft. We cancelled that order and said only Indian companies shall apply," he said.
According to Jaitley, his short five-month tenure had convinced him the country could not continue on the path of being only buyer of defence equipment.
Jaitley said, "Almost 440 helicopters are to be acquired by the three services. It has been opened to the public sector also, whereas the earlier order is only for Indian private companies and joint ventures."
The Indian armed forces require 440 light utility helicopters which will now be manufactured indigenously, involving the state-owned HAL and private sector firms in partnership with foreign players.