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India exported military hardware worth Rs 42,499 cr since 2018-19: Govt

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New Delhi:  India exported military hardware worth Rs 42,499 crore since 2018-19, according to details provided by the government in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, replying to a question, said the total defence exports in 2021-22 stood at Rs 12,815 crore while it was Rs 1,387 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

In 2018-19, the defence exports were Rs 10,746 crore and it went down to Rs 9,116 crore in 2019-20. The amount in 2020-21 was Rs 8,435 crore.

To a specific question on defence exports in 2021-22, the minister said the military items were sent to about 61 countries. He, however, declined to name the countries, saying it cannot be divulged due to “strategic reasons”.

In responding to a separate question, Bhatt said the government has taken a series of policy initiatives to promote micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) in defence sector.

“In the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, there are specific reservations on orders up to Rs 100 crore per year for MSMEs,” he said.

Bhatt said the defence offset guidelines have further paved the way for engaging the MSMEs and promote their integration in global supply chain.

Under India’s offset policy, foreign defence entities, for all contracts worth Rs 2,000 crore or more, are mandated to spend at least 30 per cent of the total contract value in India through procurement of components, transfer of technologies or setting up of research and development activities.

However, the offsets are not applicable to procurements under ‘fast track procedure’ and in ‘option clause’ cases if the same was not envisaged in the original contract.

In the past few years, the government has taken a series of measures to boost domestic defence manufacturing.

In May 2020, the government announced increasing the FDI limit from 49 per cent to 74 per cent under the automatic route in the defence sector.

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