Defence production target set at Rs 90K cr for 2019-20

The department of defence production has set itself a target of producing equipment worth Rs 90,000 crore in the financial year 2019-20. Exports worth Rs 15,000 crore have been envisaged from the total quantity of equipment produced.

The target set by the department for 2019-20 is nearly 12 per cent higher than the production achieved in the previous financial year. In the financial year 2018-19, the department had produced equipment worth Rs 80,502 crore.

Exports had accounted for Rs 10,745 crore worth of equipment in the financial year 2018-19.

According to the department, greater focus will be placed on modernisation and indigenisation of domestic manufacturing in order to boost production.

Speaking at a seminar on modernisation and indigenisation of the IAF in New Delhi on Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stressed upon the need to reduce dependency on defence imports. He had also said that India continues to be one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world.

“Of that which is produced within the country, there is a sizeable dependency on foreign original equipment manufacturers for sub-systems and components. We need to cut down dependency on foreign manufacturers and develop comprehensive capabilities ourselves,” Singh had said.

Defence production in India has grown from Rs 74,121 crore in the year 2016-17 to Rs 80,502 crore in 2018-19. In the year 2017-18, defence production in India had touched Rs 78,817 crore.

Defence exports have witnessed a tremendous growth from Rs 1,521 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19. In 2017-18, the exports figure had stood at Rs 4,682 crore.

As per ministry sources, part of this steep increase in exports is owing to the government policies and initiatives.

“Boost for Indian Defence Exporters. UK appoints Mr Dominic Beales, in British High Commission Delhi as local liaison officer for support to Indian exporters in defence/aerospace,” tweeted Secretary (Defence Production) Dr Ajay Kumar on Wednesday.

The department of defence production is one of the four wings functioning under the Defence Ministry and has an officer of the rank of Secretary at its helm of affairs. The department deals with matters pertaining to defence production, indigenisation of imported stores, equipment and spares, and planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Public Sector Undertakings.



Assam budget 2019-20; One-tola gold to brides, rice at Re 1/kg

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday presented a Rs 1,193.04-crore deficit budget for 2019-20, introducing several new schemes including rice at Rs 1 per kilogram for the poor, 1 tola (10 gram) gold to the brides, among others.

The Minister also announced waiver of hotel fees for students and some social security schemes to cover the young widows and ‘divgyangs’ and scholarship schemes for the higher education of girls from the minority communities.

The budget also announced Affordable Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana under which the government plans to provide rice at a further subsidized rate of Re 1 per kg instead for the benefit of 53 lakh households.

Giving details of the Affordable Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana, Sarma said the government will provide rice at a subsidized rate of Re 1 per kg instead of the present Rs 3 per kg in order to further strengthen food security for our people.

He said that the scheme is expected to benefit 53 lakh households across the state and added the government will start the pilot implementation of ANNA Yojana from March, 2019.

“I am happy to announce that we shall give ‘one tola gold’, costing around Rs 38,000 as on today, to brides belonging to all such communities of our state where it is customary to provide gold at the time of wedding,” Sarma said while presenting the budget.

“The government will provide free text books to students upto degree level (Arts, Science and Commerce) from the present level of Class XII,” Sarma said.

“A subsidy of Rs 700 per student per month to be paid for 10 months in a year, irrespective of their economic status, on the mess bills, for those students staying in the hostels of government, or provincialised colleges and universities,” the minister said, adding the government will also provide battery operated ‘e-bikes’ to all girl students who secure 1st division or above in their higher secondary examinations.

“The government has decided to provide rice free of cost to 4 lakh families in the tea garden areas and 2 kg of sugar per month to the families of the tea garden workers,” he said, adding that the government is launching a new scheme under which any woman, up to the age of 45 years, who loses her husband, will receive an amount of Rs 25,000 as ‘Immediate Family Assistance’.

“In addition to the immediate assistance of Rs 25,000, for regular maintenance expenses, the widow will also be eligible for a monthly pension of Rs 250 until she attains the age of 60 years, post which, she will be moved to the old age pension scheme,” said Sarma.

He said that the government has earmarked Rs 200 crore for scholarships to girl students of minority communities for higher education and announced the government has decided to establish a Development Corporation for the Indigenous Muslims which will take up various programmes for their development.



Rs 64,587 cr budgetary support for railways in 2019-20; Goyal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the government has allocated Rs 64,587 crore for railways in the Interim Budget for 2019-20.

Presenting the Interim Budget in Parliament, Goyal said: “Indian Railways has experienced its safest year in history. We are introducing container cargo movement to the North East.

“All unmanned level crossings on broad gauge network have been completely eliminated,” he said.

Speaking about the manufacture of engineless Train 18, Goyal said: “Vande Bharat Express will give Indian passengers world class facility, with speed, safety and service. This major leap developed by our engineers will give an impetus to Make in India programme and create jobs.”

He said: “Capital support from Budget for railways is proposed at Rs 64,587 crore for railways in 2019-20.

“In fact, railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is historic at Rs 1,58,658 crore.”

Goyal also said that the operating ratio of railways will come down to 95 per cent in 2019-20 from 96.2 per cent in 2018-19.

Rs 64,587 cr budgetary support for railways in 2019-20: Goyal