India moving towards becoming significant defence exporter: PM

Aligarh, Sep 14 (PTI):
Just as its famous locks have been securing homes, Aligarh will work to safeguard the borders of India in the 21st century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Tuesday while projecting the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor as an important step in the economic progress of the district and the state.
The prime minister said the country is moving from being a major importer of defence products to becoming an important exporter and Uttar Pradesh is going to be a key centre in India’s changing identity.
Addressing a gathering after visiting an exhibition on the Aligarh node of the Defence Industrial Corridor, Modi asserted that UP was benefiting from the “double-engine” government, as the BJP was ruling both at the Centre and in the state.
New industrial units of small arms, armament, drone, aerospace, metal components, anti-drone system and defence packaging products are coming up, Modi said and added that this will give a new identity to Aligarh and nearby areas. “The locks of Aligarh used to safeguard the homes and shops. In the 21st century, my Aligarh will work to safeguard the borders of India. Till now people depended on Aligarh for the safety of their homes and offices. Because when a lock from Aligarh was put, people used to feel assured,” he said, referring to the local lock-making industry. Prime Minister Modi noted that the country has launched a campaign to encourage domestic production of defence equipment and platforms like fighter aircraft, drones and warships.
“Today not only India, but the world is watching how equipment ranging from modern grenades, rifles, fighter planes, drones and warships, are manufactured in the country itself,” he noted.
“India is emerging from the image of being a big defence importer. Whatever we needed for defence, we used to import even after 75 years of independence.
“”India is now moving towards making a new identity of an important defence exporter of the world. Uttar Pradesh is going to be a big centre of India’s changing identity. I feel proud as an MP from UP,” the prime minister said.
Modi also said that under the One District, One Product (ODOP), the Aligarh locks and hardware industries are being given a new identity. The Aligarh node of the Corridor will give many more opportunities to the small units.
“New avenues are coming up in the MSME, and now the local industrialists, MSME units will get a special benefit. There will be new encouragement for the MSMEs,” he said.
Manufacturing of Brahmos missile is proposed in the Lucknow node of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor. In the Jhansi node, there is a proposal to set up a missile manufacturing unit.
“The UP Defence Corridor is coming up with big investment and employment opportunities. Today Uttar Pradesh is becoming an attractive place for investors from the state and the world.
“This is possible when there is a proper atmosphere for investment and necessary facilities are made available. Today UP has become a big example of double benefits of a double engine government,” the prime minister said.

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