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Rajnath welcomes announcement for defence sector in Union Budget

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday described as an "excellent move" the proposal in the Union Budget to set aside 25 per cent of the defence R&D budget for start-ups and private entities in the financial year 2022-23.

Singh also welcomed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcement that 68 per cent of the defence capital procurement budget would be allocated towards procurement from domestic industry.

"The 68 percent of defence capital procurement budget has been allocated towards local procurement. It is in line with the 'Vocal for Local' push and it will certainly boost the domestic defence industries," Singh tweeted.

He said substantial amounts have been allocated towards research and development in several sectors including defence.

"The proposal to reserve 25 percent of the R&D Budget for Startups and Private entities is an excellent move," the defence minister said.

In her budget speech in Parliament, Sitharaman said the government is committed to reducing imports and promoting self-reliance in equipment for the armed forces.

"Sixty-eight per cent of the capital procurement budget will be earmarked for domestic industry in 2022-23, up from 58 per cent in 2021-22," she said.

The finance minister said defence research and development will be opened up for industry, start-ups and academia with 25 per cent of the defence R&D budget earmarked for it.

"Private industry will be encouraged to take up design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with DRDO and other organisations through SPV (special purpose vehicle) model," she said.

Sitharaman said an independent nodal umbrella body will be set up for meeting wide-ranging testing and certification requirements.

"Congratulations to Finance Minister, Smt @nsitharaman on presenting an excellent Union Budget for 2022-23. It is a Budget which would give fillip to 'Make in India', boost demand and build capacities for a stronger, prosperous and confident India," Singh said.

He said the budget outlines the government's focus on 'Atamnirbharata' and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for development and pro people reforms.

"It is a growth oriented Budget focused on harnessing the energies of New India," Singh said.

There was no mention of the overall defence budget figures in the budget speech of the finance minister.

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