Speaking at a defence exhibition on Wednesday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government cannot compel or force the armed forces to buy Made-in-India weapons. The Defence Minister made this remarks during an exhibition which was aimed to promote and project India as one of the main contender in defence manufacturing hub themed ‘Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub.’ Nirmala Sitharaman also added that she cannot forces the armed forces to buy only “Made in India” equipment however, it would be a good thing if it happens.

The defence exhibition aimed to promote India as a manufacturing hub for defense equipment was being in Chennai. One of the main motive of the exhibition wasto market the brand India by highlighting countries manufacturing capabilities. Responding to a query raising the issue of big gap between the import-export figures in the defence sector, Nirmala Sitharaman said that she could only tell the Indian armed forces to procure from indigenously developed things as much as possible. However, the defence Minister added that she can not cross the ‘thin line’ which could take away the freedom of the armed forces. “I can’t imagine prevailing upon them. We will only want them to give space to local manufacturers and buy indigenous products.”

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Meanwhile speaking at the exhinition, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said that it showcases the strenghts of India’s public sector and also uncovers India’s growing private industry and spreading MSME base for components and sub-systems. Further added to his statement, Defence Secretary Ajya Kumar said, “By 2025, India wants to go from being an importer to an exporter of defence equipment.”

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