NEW DELHI: The union government has entered into 21 defence offset contracts worth a cumulative value of $5.67 billion over the past three years, Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Naik furnished the information through a written reply to a question raised by Lok Sabha MPs - D S Mane, Shrikant Shinde and Sujay Radhakrishna Patil.

The Minister informed through his reply that since the opening of private sector in defence production in 2001, 452 industrial licenses have been issued till October 2019 for manufacturing of a wide range of defence items. Out of these, a total of 109 licenses have been issued in the last three financial years.

"So far FDI amounting to Rs 1812 crore has been reported by the companies in the Defence and Aerospace Sector since April 2014," said the Minister in his reply.

The defence industry sector, which was earlier reserved for public sector, was opened up to 100 per cent participation for indigenous firms' in May 2001 with Foreign Direct Investment up to 26 per cent both subject to licensing. Further, the Development of Industrial Policy & Promotion of the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry has allowed FDI under automatic route up to 49 per cent and above 49 per cent through government route.

The Minister, in his reply, has quoted a study conducted by the think-tank 'Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses', according to which 52 contracts in all worth $11.79 billion have been signed by the Defence Ministry with various Indian offset partners till March 2019.

"To date, 44 proposals for development by industry have been given 'In-principle' approval under Make-II [Make-in-India-Initiative]," Naik has stated in the reply.