Defense Minister Rajnath Singh made an important announcement today i.e. on Sunday. The Defense Minister has said that the Ministry of Defense is now ready to pursue self-reliance initiatives. He said that to promote indigenization of defense production, the Ministry of Defense would impose import restrictions on more than 101 items.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special economic package for India based on five pillars for self-reliant India (Atmo nirvar Bharat), namely, economy, infrastructure, system, demographics and demand and named as ‘Self-reliant India’.
Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Defense has prepared a list of 101 items, on which import restrictions will be imposed. This is a major step towards self-sufficiency in defense.
These 101 items include not just handy items but also some high-tech weapon systems such as artillery guns, assault rifles, transport aircraft, LCH radars and many other items to meet the needs of our defense services.
This decision will provide a big opportunity to the Indian defense industry to manufacture weapons to meet the requirements of the armed forces by using their own design and development capabilities or by adopting techniques developed by DRDO.
Several rounds of discussions were held with all stakeholders including the armed forces, public and private industry to assess the current and future capabilities of Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition and equipment within India, which was followed by the Ministry of Defense. The list has been prepared.
About 260 schemes of such services were contracted by Tri-Services between April 2015 to August 2020 at an estimated cost of around Rs 3.5 lakh crore. It is estimated that about four lakh crore rupees contracts will be placed on the domestic industry within the next six to seven years.
Items worth approximately Rs 1,30,000 crore are estimated for the Army and Air Force, while items for the Navy are estimated at around Rs 1,40,000 crore.
The import restriction (Embargo) is planned to be implemented between 2020 and 2024. Our objective is to inform the Indian defense industry about the needs of the armed forces so that they are better prepared to achieve the goal of indigenization.
To ensure all necessary steps in this direction, the time limit of equipment will be met as per the Negative Import List, which will include a coordinated mechanism for the defense services to operate the industry.