Of total exports, the participation of private sector stands at 90 per cent, the ministry of defence told a parliamentary panel

Indian defence exports have grown almost six times from Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 9,000 crore in the past five years, in which the participation of the private sector stands at 90 per cent, the ministry of defence has told a parliamentary panel.

As per the ministry, these exports are broadly going to 84 countries.

A Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report of 2020 stated that India stands in the list of top 25 countries in defence exports. The defence ministry is also working on a Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy, which is learnt to be in its final stages.

As reported by News18 in December, there is a massive push by the government towards indigenously manufacturing defence equipment and platforms and curbing all imports in the near future.

The parliamentary panel report said India is funding 6% on defence R&D of the defence budget while the US and China are spending about 12% and 20%, respectively, on defence (R&D) as compared to their defence budget. (Representational Photo: Reuters)

As per a report of the standing committee on defence, presented to Parliament on Wednesday, the value of exports by defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) such as Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) was ‘nil’ for the financial year 2020-21.

However, the value of exports in financial year 2020-21 in case of others such as BEL, HAL, BEML, GRSE, BDL and MIDHANI stood at Rs 376.46 crore, Rs 194 crore, Rs 463 crore (including deemed exports), Rs 87.49 crore, Rs 145 crore and Rs 19.42 crore, respectively.

HAL is looking at exporting Advanced Light Helicopters Mark-III to the Philippines and the Light Combat Aircraft TEJAS to Malaysia.

The DPSUs had also submitted to the panel details about various export orders received and also those which are in the pipeline.

Taking note of defence exports bringing valuable foreign exchange and rendering the indigenous defence industry more competitive, the panel urged the ministry to assist DPSUs in increasing their exports.

“The Committee expresses the hope that the BrahMos deal, which is the first major defence system export deal, between India and Philippines will prove to be a harbinger in defence exports,” the committee noted in the report.

The panel recommended that the development of state-of-the-art equipment and platforms, aside from timely completion and delivery, superlative quality of the products, platforms and equipment, should be ensured and followed by DPSUs.

This is to ensure the DPSUs establish and emerge as competitive and reliable destinations of defence products.

The panel recommended that the DPSUs should check the feasibility of creating a separate wing in each of them, solely dedicated to realisation of these objectives.

The report also gave out the profits registered by the DPSUs in the last five years. Of them, HAL made the highest profit at Rs 3,232.96 crore in 2020-21, while only HSL incurred losses of Rs 14 crore due to lack of submarine refit orders.

Data also shows that out of the overall production of Rs 85,000 crore by the country’s defence industry, the contribution of the public sector is Rs 68,000 crore.