VADODARA: In a major push to the government’s “Make in India” project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing project for the Indian Air Force at Vadodara in Gujarat.

The aircraft will be manufactured at the TATA-Airbus consortium’s facility in the state. The Prime Minister said that India has become a major manufacturing hub and a “new saga of economic reforms is being written” in the country as his government’s policies were “stable, predictable and futuristic”.

“Today, India is working with a new mindset and new work culture,” he said in his address at the ceremony. The PM said India was going to become a major producer of transport aircraft and that he could see the day when big commercial planes would be made in the country as well.

He said India, with its “Make-in-India” and “Make-for-Globe” approach, was enhancing its strength and that the country had emerged as a major manufacturing hub globally. He added that he could foresee India manufacturing large passenger aircraft which would proudly bear the words “Made in India”.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel were at the ceremony. The launch took place ahead of the announcement of the Gujarat Assembly elections, which is expected in the coming week.

Modi said the facility had the capability to transform the country’s defence and transport sector. He pointed out that it was for the first time that such a major investment was taking place in India’s defence sector.

“One key aspect of progress is the change of mindset. Governments for a long time now had been working with the mindset that only the government knows everything and that only they should do everything. This mindset suppressed the country's talent, didn’t let the private sector grow,” the PM said.

“Today, for the first time in the country, the foundation stone of an aircraft manufacturing facility is being laid by the private sector. It is certainly a matter of pride for the defence sector as well as for the entire country,” said defence minister Rajnath Singh.

Airbus’ chief commercial officer Christian Scherer said: “We accept, with humility and a great sense of responsibility, the trust and confidence that GoI has reposed in Airbus... together, we’ll be delivering an aircraft that will strengthen the IAF and serve the PM's vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.”

He added that the C-295 aircraft project was a direct product of Modi’s Make-In-India policy. “A policy that has encouraged my company, Airbus, to reimagine the way we do business in India... On average, we’ll deliver to India over one aircraft every week for the next 10 years,” Scherer said.