Bipin Rawat says India focusing on manufacturing weapons within country, backs decision to not intervene in Maldives

New Delhi: India has depended on the import of weapons, but now, it is focusing on manufacturing weapons in the country with the transfer of technology, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Tuesday. The armed forces have also been relying on ordnance factories, but the picture is now changing, he said.

"We have always depended on import of equipment in our country. And therefore, what happened was, we did not allow the indigenous industry to develop," Rawat said.

The army had told a parliamentary panel that the funds allocated to it in the defence budget for the next fiscal is insufficient to deal with various security challenges facing the country, including from a more assertive China along the northern border and from a hostile Pakistan on the western frontier. Both China as well as Pakistan were carrying out modernisation of their defence forces in "full swing", the army had said.

Rawat's comments were in response to a question in this regard. To step up defence production within the country, India is looking at collaborating with other nations, he said.

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