In a major step towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliance), India has banned import of 101 defence items from big guns to missiles.
Announcing this through a serious of tweets, Defence Minister Rajnath Sing said a list 101 defence items has been prepared on which there would be an embargo on import to give a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. “The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. MoD will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production,”he said in the tweet.
Further, the Minister said that it was a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the five pillars such as Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography and Demand. “This decision will offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture the items in the negative list by using their own design and development capabilities or adopting the technologies designed & developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces,” Rajnath Singh said.
“Of these, items worth almost Rs 1,30,000 crore each are anticipated for the Army and the Air Force while items worth almost Rs 1,40,000 crore are anticipated by the Navy over the same period,” he said. The list also includes, wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) with indicative import embargo date of December 2021, of which the Army is expected to contract almost 200 at an approximate cost of over Rs 5,000 crore, he added.
The Minister said that the DMA in consultation with all stakeholders would identify more such equipment for import embargo.
Rajnath Singh in the tweet said that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure that timelines for production of equipment as per the Negative Import List are met, which will include a co-ordinated mechanism for hand holding of the industry by the Defence Services.
“The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024. Our aim is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation,” the Minister tweeted.
He said that the MoD bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. A separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly Rs 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year, he added.
Almost 260 schemes of such items were contracted by the Tri-Services at an approximate cost of Rs 3.5 lakh crore between April 2015 and August 2020. It is estimated that contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next 6 to 7 years.