These companies would play an important role in import substitution, PM Narendra Modi said

Seven new defence companies, carved out of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), were dedicated to the nation on Saturday.

Addressing the event through video conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the belief these seven new companies would form a strong base for the military strength of the country in the times to come.

PM Modi also mentioned that these new companies would play an important role in import substitution, in line with the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

An order book of more than Rs 65,000 crore reflect the increasing confidence of the country in these companies, he added.

The seven new Defence companies are: Munitions India Limited (MIL); Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI); Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India); Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) (Troop Comfort Items); Yantra India Limited (YIL); India Optel Limited (IOL) and Gliders India Limited (GIL).

These companies have commenced business from October 1, said the Ministry of Defence.

The government had decided to convert OFB from a Government Department into seven 100 per cent Government-owned corporate entities as a measure to improve self-reliance in the defence preparedness of the country.

In his address, the Prime Minister listed the various initiatives and reforms undertaken in the recent past that have created Trust, Transparency and Technology driven approach in the defence sector like never before.

He cited the Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu Defence Corridors as examples of the new approach. He noted as new opportunities are emerging for the youth and MSME the country is seeing the result of policy changes in the recent years. “Our defence export has increased by 325 per cent in last five years”, he added.

He appealed to the new companies that research and innovation should be a part of their work culture, so that they just don’t catch up but take lead in future technologies.

This restructuring would provide more autonomy to the new companies to nurture innovation and expertise and the new companies should encourage such talent, he added. He urged the start-ups to become a part of this new journey through these companies to leverage the research and expertise of each other.

Paying tribute to former President APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary, PM Modi said that restructuring of Ordnance Factories and creation of seven companies will give strength to his dream of strong India.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hoped that in the times of come, these new companies would not only play an important role in the defence manufacturing ecosystem but would also be engines of growth for the Indian economy.

He added that restructuring is a continuing process, not an end in itself.

Saying that the new companies have full potential for growth, Defence Minister Singh said, if required, the government will provide support initially through financial and non-financial interventions.