Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media on PM’s visit and other various issues, in New Delhi on June 25, 2023. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the United States as historic while decrying the Opposition’s past “crocodile tears” over the financial health of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which had signed an agreement with GE Aerospace for the joint production of F414 engines.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Ms. Sitharaman pointed out the importance of the defense cooperation agreements between India and the US “These engines [F414] will be used for Tejas aircraft of the HAL — a company about which the Indian Opposition often sheds crocodile tears,” she said. In January 2019, in fact, when Ms. Sitharaman was Defense Minister, she had been accused by the Opposition of running the HAL to the ground, leading her to make a statement in Parliament that this was not so. The contract of GE Aerospace with the HAL, for the government, is an important signal that the Indian defense producer was doing well, financially and technically.
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Mrs. Sitharaman also pointed out that rapid investment in semiconductors and other technologies was benefiting India. “As a significant and meaningful milestone in the growth of the semiconductor eco-system, Micron will set up its semiconductor and test plan in Gujarat entailing a total investment of US $2.75 billion. It is expected to create 5,000 new direct jobs and around 15,000 indirect jobs over the next few years,” she said.