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India has signed 21 offset defence contracts worth US $ 5.67 billion in last three years: MoS for Defence Dr Bhamre

As many as 21 defence offset contracts with a cumulative value of approximately US $ 5.67 billion have been signed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in the last three years, the Rajya Sabha has been informed,

"MOD has assigned a study through the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) to ascertain the impact of offsets on Indian defence industrial base. The interim report has been received," said Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to a question of Ritabrata Banerjee in the Rajya Sabha.

An offset agreement is a type of side deal, sometimes best described as a sweetener. This is an agreement between two or more parties that provide additional benefits and is ancillary to another negotiated contract.

Defence industry sector was first opened up in May 2001 for 100 per cent manufacturing by the Indian private sector including foreign direct investment (FDI) up to admissible cap both subject to licensing.

"Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) vide press note 5(21016) notified revised FDI policy under which FDI is allowed under automatic route up to 49 per cent and beyond 49 per cent through the government route whenever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded," said Bhamre in his reply in the Upper House on Monday.

"So far, 41 FDI proposals or joint ventures have been approved in defence sector for manufacture of various defence equipment, both in public and private sector. Further, the government has so far issued 430 licenses till December 2018 for manufacturing of various licensable defence items," he said.

He said that FDI of Rs 1.16 crore has been received under 3 National Industrial Classification (NIC) codes of defence sector as informed by DIPP.

"In addition, six companies, for which FDI approval had been accorded, received Rs 237.44 crores in defence and aerospace sector since April 2014 in other than 3 NIC codes," he said.