Enhancing border infra, boosting domestic defence production set to be Rajnath's priority as defence minister

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) Boosting India's domestic defence production, enhancing borer infrastructure and further bolstering the country's military preparedness are set to be the focus areas of Rajnath Singh as the defence minister in the third term of the Modi government.

Singh was among the senior BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar, who retained the ministries that they handled in the previous government.

As the defence minister since 2019, Singh initiated several path-breaking measures to strengthen India's combat readiness along the border with China, as well as boost the country's defence manufacturing.

Under his leadership, the defence ministry pursued an aggressive policy to enhance infrastructure along the frontier region that significantly helped faster military mobilisation in sensitive sectors.

His tenure as the defence minister also saw India ramping up its maritime prowess in the strategic waterways in the Indian Ocean region.

The focus is expected to be on boosting domestic defence manufacturing, further bolstering military preparedness and enhancing key infrastructure in areas along the country's borders, two military experts familiar with the new government's priority areas said.

India's defence exports crossed the Rs 21,000 crore mark for the first time in 2023-24 and the defence ministry has set a target of increasing it to Rs 50,000 crore in the next five to six years.

In the last few years, the government has taken a series of measures to promote domestic defence production.

India is one of the largest importers of arms globally.

According to estimates, Indian armed forces are projected to spend around USD 130 billion in capital procurement by 2029.

The government now wants to reduce dependence on imported military platforms and has decided to support domestic defence manufacturing.

The defence ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years. PTI MPB IJT IJT

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