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India will now become a major producer of transport aircraft, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday after laying the foundation stone of a manufacturing facility for C-295 medium transport plane for the Indian Air Force.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that today we have taken a big step in the direction of making India the manufacturing hub of the world. He said India is making fighter jets, tanks, submarines, medicines, vaccines, electronic gadgets, mobile phones and cars that are popular in many countries. The Prime Minister remarked that India is moving forward with the mantra of ‘Make in India, Make for the Globe’ and now India is becoming a huge manufacturer of transport aircrafts in the world. The Prime Minister stated that he can foresee that India will soon be manufacturing big passenger aircrafts that will proudly bear the words ‘Made in India’.

He said that the facility for which the foundation stone was laid today, has the power to transform the country’s defence and transport sector. He pointed out that it is for the first time that this big investment is taking place in the Indian Defence sector. Transport aircrafts, manufactured here will not only give strength to the armed forces but it will help in developing a new ecosystem of aircraft manufacturing “Vadodara which is famous as a cultural and education center, will develop a new identity as an aviation sector hub", he said. The Prime Minister expressed happiness about the fact that more than 100 MEMEs are also associated with the project. He said that the promise of ‘Make in India, Make for the Globe’ will gain new push from this land as the project will be able to take orders for export to other countries in the future.

Commenting on the fast growing aviation sector of India, the Prime Minister said that we are about to enter among the top three countries in the world with regard to air traffic. UDAN scheme is helping in turning many commuters into air travelers, he said. Highlighting the increased demand for passenger and cargo aircrafts, the Prime Minister stated that India will need more than 2000 aircrafts in the next 15 years. The Prime Minister pointed out that today is a crucial step in this direction and India has already begun preparations for the same. Shri Modi also highlighted that India is presenting a global opportunity for the world that is beset by corona pandemic and war and marred by disruptions in the supply chain. He pointed out that the growth momentum of India has been constant even among such tough circumstances. He explained that operating conditions are constantly improving and India is focussing on cost competitiveness as well as quality. “India is presenting the opportunity of low cost manufacturing and high output", the Prime Minister remarked. He further added that India has a huge talent pool of skilled manpower.

Throwing light on the reforms made by the government in the last 8 years, the Prime Minister said that India is creating an unprecedented environment for manufacturing in the country. The Prime Minister gave examples of creating a simplified corporate tax structure while making it globally competitive, opening up the 100 per cent FDI route, opening up defence and space sectors for the private companies, reforming 29 central labour laws into 4 codes, abolishing 33,000 compliances, and creation of the Goods and Service Tax by putting an end to a complex web of dozens of taxes. He said, “A new saga of economic reforms is being written in India today and the manufacturing sector is reaping the most benefits from this apart from the states."

The Prime Minister credited a change in mindset for the success. He said “Today, India is working with a new mindset, a new work-culture". He recalled the time when the reigning notion was that the government was know-all, a mindset that suppressed the country's talent and the power of the private sector. “Now following ‘Sabka Prayas’, the government has started giving equal importance to the public and private sector. The Prime Minister also lamented the makeshift approach of the previous government where the manufacturing sector was kept barely functional through subsidy. There was neglect of basic facilities like logistics, electricity supply or water supply. “We have abandoned the makeshift approach of decision making and have come up with various new incentives for investors. We launched the Production Linked Incentive scheme, which made the change visible. Today our policies are stable, predictable and futuristic", he said.

The Prime Minister also recalled a time when dominant thought was to focus on the service sector as manufacturing was considered to be beyond reach. “Today we are improving both services and manufacturing sectors," he said. He underlined the importance of a holistic approach that focuses on both the manufacturing and service sector. “Today India is preparing to stay ahead of everyone in manufacturing", he added. “This became possible because in the last 8 years we focused on skill development and created an environment for it. By assimilating all these changes, today India's development journey in the manufacturing sector has reached this stage", the Prime Minister pointed out.

Highlighting the investment friendly policies of the government, the Prime Minister remarked that its benefits are clearly visible in FDI. “In the last eight years" he said, “companies from more than 160 countries have invested in India." He further elaborated that such foreign investments are not limited to certain industries but spreads across 61 sectors of the economy and covers 31 states of India.

The Prime Minister informed that more than $3 billion has been invested in the aerospace sector alone. The Prime Minister noted that post 2014, investment in this sector grew 5 times of what was invested during the year 2000 to 2014. Shri Modi highlighted that in the coming years, the defence and aerospace sectors are going to be the crucial pillars of the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.

“We aim to scale our defence manufacturing beyond $25 billion by 2025. Our defence exports will also exceed $5 billion" he added. The Prime Minister pointed out that the defence corridors being developed in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will immensely help in scaling-up this sector. Shri Modi also praised the Defence Ministry and the Government of Gujarat for organising the biggest ever Def-expo in Gandhinagar. He underlined that all the equipment and technologies displayed in the Def-expo were made in India. “The reflection of Project C-295 will also be visible to us in the Def-expo of the coming years", the Prime Minister added.

In concluding the address, the Prime Minister urged all those associated with the industry to make the most out of the unprecedented investment confidence in the country at the moment. He further added that more thought must be given to helping the start-ups of the country in moving forward. The Prime Minister also stressed on increased participation of the private sector in the field of research. “If we push in this direction, then we will be able to develop a more strong ecosystem of innovation and manufacturing. You always have to remember the mantra of Sabka Prayas", the Prime Minister concluded.