In a major push for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday (August 9) announced that the Ministry of Defence was set to embrace the “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” initiative and would introduce import embargo on 101 weapon systems beyond given timeline to realise the goal of indigenisation of defence products.
“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,” tweeted Singh.
The list of 101 embargoed items comprises of not just simple parts but also some high tech weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, LCHs, radars and many other items to fulfil needs of our Defence Services, said Defence Minister Singh.
“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,” he added.
Singh noted that Defence Ministry has prepared the list after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, including the Armed Forces, public and private industry to assess current and future capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition and 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 tweeted.