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Modi's Push For 'Make In India' Policy Leads To Weapon Scarcity In Defence Sector: Report

In 2014, when Modi came to power, he emphasised on building everything from mobile phones to fighter jets in India to generate jobs and reduce outflows of foreign exchange. 

File photo of an Indian military officer on patrol in Ladakh
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to make India self-reliant via the 'Make In India' policy has left India vulnerable to persistent threats from China and Pakistan, according to officials.

India’s air force, army, and navy can no longer import some critical weapons systems to replace aging ones, the officials said. That risks leaving India critically short of helicopters by 2026 and with a shortfall of hundreds of fighter jets by 2030, according to a report by Bloomberg.

In 2014, when Modi came to power, he emphasised on building everything from mobile phones to fighter jets in India to generate jobs and reduce outflows of foreign exchange. 

However, eight years later, it has been alleged that the military does not manufacture enough to meet its own needs locally. Additionally, changing government rules have made it more difficult for the defence sector to import materials. 

Bloomberg spoke to multiple officials for this story across the three services in India. 

The report states that Modi’s program mandates between 30 per cent to 60 per cent of home-made components, depending on the nature of the military purchase or where it’s purchased from. There were no such caps earlier and India used a system of plowing back a certain percentage of the cost of the purchase into domestic manufacturing.

It has been estimated that by 2030, the Indian Air Force might be left with less than 30 fighter squadrons, well below 42.

Defence personnel said that they need weapons to adequately protect the borders against China and Pakistan.

 

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