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India in final stages of formulating mfg policy in defence: Jaitley

New Delhi : India is in the advanced stages of formulating a policy to encourage domestic defence manufacturing and cut import of combat planes, ships and submarines, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

Addressing the annual meeting of CII in Delhi, Finance Minister Jaitley, who holds additional charge of the Defence Ministry, said that “the focus would be on technological tie-ups to help India become a manufacturing economy.”

“India is the world’s largest arms importer, spending some 1.8 per cent of its GDP on defence. It imports about 70 per cent of defence equipment, a proposition which the government wants to change,” he added.

Jaitley, however, did not elaborate on the policy in works and whether it will include tax incentives and state support.

“The response that we have from domestic and international industry has been quite encouraging itself,” he added.

“With its growing global clout, India which has topped the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s list of largest defence importers for the last seven years is looking at self-reliance in aerospace and defence industry. The government has pledged to spend $250 billion by 2025 on weapons and military equipment,” he said.