Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Govt's drone incubation fund DISHA to have allocation of less than Rs 500 cr: Aviation min official

New Delhi: The government''s incubation fund DISHA that will promote indigenous manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be allocated less than Rs 500 crore due to the coronavirus-triggered economic "recession", Aviation Ministry Joint Secretary Amber Dubey said on Tuesday.
The DISHA fund will give financial support to Indian startups and researchers to manufacture drones or UAVs for use in four sectors -- infrastructure, security, healthcare and agriculture.

"These are the four big bang areas we are focusing on. We started with a big bang number of Rs 2,000 crore (allocation), brought it down to Rs 500 crore. All of this was before March so the number may come down even further because the reality is in front of us. We are in the midst of the worst recession in 100 years," Dubey said at a webinar organised by ideaForge, a dronemaker.

Pointing to coronavirus-triggered economic slowdown, he said this is a time when small and medium enterprises are struggling and migrants, unemployed and underprivileged people have to be supported by the government.

"So, who the hell is going to talk about drones and high-tech and all that stuff. Yes, we (Civil Aviation Ministry) are standing in the queue. We are raising the issue with the end-user ministries (about funds)," he said.

"Let us be very blunt and honest here. It is not going to happen overnight. I am a shameless guy, so I will keep trying. But the money may come a little later. It is not going to happen tomorrow or the next month," he added.
21/07/20 PTI/Outlook
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