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Defence exports scaled to unprecedented heights: Defence Minister; PM terms it 'monumental achievement'

A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the country's defence exports have scaled to "unprecedented heights" and crossed Rs 21,000 crore for the "first time" in the history of independent India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a "monumental achievement" in the defence sector and "manifestation of our nation's growing capabilities".

The Defence Ministry in a statement on Monday said defence exports have touched a record Rs 21,083 crore (approximately USD 2.63 billion) in the financial year 2023-24, a growth of 32.5 per cent over the last fiscal when the figure was Rs 15,920 crore.

The recent figures indicate that defence exports have grown by "31 times in the last 10 years as compared to FY 2013-14".

"Delighted to inform everyone that Indian Defence Exports have scaled to unprecedented heights and crossed Rs 21,000-crore mark for the first time in the history of independent India!" Singh said in a post on X earlier in the day.

The Union Minister also said that India's defence exports have reached to the level of Rs 21,083 crore in financial year 2023-24 which is a "spectacular growth" of 32.5 per cent over the previous fiscal.

Prime Minister Modi hailed the achievement in a post on X.

"A monumental achievement in India's defence sector. The soaring exports in the sector are a manifestation of our nation's growing capabilities. Proud of the hardwork and innovation of our people, which has propelled India onto the global stage in the world of defence. Our journey towards self-reliance in the sector will continue with even greater vigour in the times to come," he said.

The Defence Minister, during an interaction with members of the Indian diaspora in Nigeria in May 2023, had emphasised on the Government's focus on 'Aatmanirbharta' and the "significant progress" made in defence exports in recent years towards achieving the objective of "Make-in-India, Make-for-the-World".

"The remarkable growth has been achieved due to the policy reforms and 'Ease of Doing Business' initiatives brought in by the Government, in addition to the end-to-end digital solution provided to Indian industries for promoting defence exports. This growth is a reflection of global acceptability of Indian defence products and technologies," the statement said.

The Ministry in its statement added that the defence industry, including the private sector and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), have made "tremendous efforts" in achieving the highest-ever defence exports.

The private sector and the DPSUs have contributed about 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively, it added.

"In addition, there has been a rise in the number of export authorisations issued to the defence exporters during FY 2023-24. From 1,414 export authorisations in FY 2022-23, the number jumped to 1,507 in FY 2023-24," the statement said.

A comparative data of two decades that is the period from 2004-05 to 2013-14 and 2014-15 to 2023-24 reveals that there has been a growth of "21 times in the defence exports".

Total defence exports during 2004-05 to 2013-14 were Rs 4,312 crore, which has gone up to Rs 88,319 crore in the period from 2014-15 to 2023-24, it said.

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