In a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the Ministry of Defence has decided to impose a ban on 101 import items to boost indigenisation of defence production. Announcing the decision on Twitter, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the defence ministry has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them. https://twitter.com/rajnathsingh/status/1292317269599518721?s=20
Rajnath Singh said following the embargo on certain defence imports, 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. 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, Rajnath Singh said.
A separate budget head of Rs 52,000 crore has been created for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year to boost the defence industry in the country.
Artillery guns, light combat helicopter, assault rifles, corvettes, radars, wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), transport aircraft, and other high technology weapons are among the 101 defence items that will not be imported from now on. All these will now be indigenously manufactured, Rajnath Singh announced on Sunday.
A total of 69 of the 101 items on the Indian Defence Ministry’s embargo list will not be imported with effect from December 2020.
The embargo on imports is planned to be implemented between 2020 to 2024. Over time, Rajnath Singh said, more such equipment for import embargo would be identified.
In a tweet, Rajnath Singh said, “The Ministry of Defence has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them. This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence. #AtmanirbharBharat.”
Rajnath Singh said, “The list of 101 embargoed items comprises of not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, LCHs, radars and many other items to fulfil the needs of our Defence Services.”
“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. #AtmanirbharBharat,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.
The defence minister also said that the decision will offer an 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 and developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces”.
Rajnath Singh said the list of 101 import items was prepared by the Ministry of Defence after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders to assess current and future capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition and equipment within India.
“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,” Rajnath Singh said.
The defence minister said, “More such equipment for import embargo would be identified progressively by the DMA in consultation with all stakeholders. A due note of this will also be made in the DAP to ensure that no item in the negative list is processed for import in the future.”