The Defence Ministry will introduce an import embargo on 101 items beyond the given timeline to boost the indigenisation of defence production, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced on Sunday. This is said to be a big step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat in defence.
He said that the "Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now ready for a big push to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. MoD will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond a given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production."
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the 5 pillars Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography and Demand and announced a special economic package for Self-Reliant India named ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat’," he added.
He further said that "Taking a cue from that evocation, 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."
Rajnath Singh announced that "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."
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister said that "The list is prepared by MoD after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, including the Armed Forces, public & private industry to assess current and future capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition & equipment within India."
"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," he added.
The Defence Minister also 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."
"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. "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," he said.
He further announced that "MoD has also 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."