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50,000,00,00,000 Cr investment 2,50,000 jobs

UP Defence Corridor zooming ahead

By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT

The UP Defence Corridor spans Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Aligarh, Chitrakoot and Agra

LUCKNOW, Aug 8 (The CONNECT) - Looking to align with India’s ambition to become self-reliant in defence and military production, the Uttar Pradesh government has accelerated its flagship UP Defence Corridor, which is estimated to attract investment of Rs 50,000 crore and create 250,000 job opportunities.

Defence is one of the key sectors under the ‘Make in India’ theme, offering a huge potential to boost manufacturing capability and capture the lucrative export market. The government has projected that the defence sector is poised to touch $26 billion by 2025.

With the Centre planning to invest $250 billion over the next 10 years for the modernisation of forces, the sector presents a huge opportunity to the Indian companies to up the ante by ramping up manufacturing capacity and expanding the military product basket.

The UP Defence Corridor spans Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Aligarh, Chitrakoot and Agra. Last year, Indian Navy had also signed an agreement with UPEIDA to set up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ to promote research and innovation in the defence sector

In this backdrop, the state nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is in the process of acquiring 1,500 hectares of land across the six nodes of the Defence Corridor. So far, it has received investment proposals from 55 defence sector companies to set up their units.

Of these, 19 firms with combined outlay of Rs 1,245 crore have already been allotted land, mainly in Aligarh node. The UP Defence Corridor has been positioned to propel the state among the largest and most advanced manufacturing backyards for defence manufacturing in this part of the world.

Prominent among these companies are Anchor Research Lab, which will invest Rs 550 crore and has been allotted 10 hectares of land by UPEIDA. Similarly, 10 hectares have been allotted to Syndicate Innovations International, which is investing Rs 150 crore.

Jai Saianu Overseas, which will invest Rs 100 crore, has been given 4.5 hectares of land, while Milkor has been allotted 4 hectares to set up a captive unit at a cost of Rs 98 crore. Tractrix Auto Dynamic has proposed to invest Rs 40 crore and been allotted 2 hectares.

At the Defence Expo 2020, the UP government had signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth Rs 50,000 crore with leading private, both Indian and foreign, and public sector companies for investment.

“The defence manufacturing companies have shown interest in investing in other nodes of the Corridor as well, including Lucknow, Kanpur and Jhansi,” a state government official said here.

Recently, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had virtually addressed the Indigenization Summit on Defence & Aerospace (ISDA 2021) organised jointly by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and UPEIDA.

He said the UP Defence and Aerospace Manufacturing Policy 2018 was tweaked to make it more amenable to investors exploring opportunities in the Corridor.

According to Sachin Agarwal, chairman, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), UP Chapter, the Corridor will provide the much-needed leg up to the state micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to scale up and form the backbone of the indigenous defence production and supply chain.

In fact, the Defence & Aerospace sector in India is at an inflection point, given the modernisation and indigenisation programme undertaken by the three services of the second largest military force in the world. India has the 3rd largest defence budget.

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