It is time for India to make more indigenous weapons, to make the country self-reliant, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in New Delhi on Monday.
Addressing an event to mark the "Atma Nirbhar Saptah", the minister pointed out that necessary steps would be taken to make the country self-reliant in defence structure, investment infrastructure, manufacturing of weapons in the future.
"Today's event is focused on facilities for modernisation, up-gradation and new infrastructure that will help in our indigenous capability building," Mr Singh said.
Pointing out at Sunday's announcement that the government has come out with 101 items that will not be purchased from outside, he said, "Am happy to announce that for the first time we have come out with the list of 101 items, which we will not import, we call this list as a negative list."
"In the coming days, we will include more items so that we can save imports worth crores of rupees. Our defence PSUs and ordnance factories are working in this direction. These industries are the backbone of our forces," the minister further said.
"If we become capable of manufacturing things within India itself, then we will be able to save a large section of capital of the country. With the help of that capital, around 7,000 MSMEs associated with defence industry, can be encouraged," he added.
The minister observed that while self-reliance does not mean that it would cut off from the rest of the world, but it was equally important for any nation to be self-dependent.
"While our country is walking hand-in-hand with rest of the globe, it has the capability to carve a niche for itself," added Rajnath Singh.