The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will introduce import embargo on 101 items to boost indigenisation of defence production in the country. Announcing the same on Twitter on Sunday, August 9, Defence Minister Rajnath said, "The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to #AtmanirbharBharat initiative. MoD will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production."
The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to #AtmanirbharBharat initiative. MoD will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 9, 2020
Artillery guns, light combat helicopters, assault rifles, corvettes, radars, armoured fighting vehicles (AFV), transport aircraft are among the 101 Defence items that will not be imported from now on. All of these will be indigenously manufactured in the country to boost self-reliance.
The defence minister said that the AFVs on the list have the "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."
Singh highlighted that the embargo on "imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024" adding that "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.
Singh further tweeted that the embargo on import of the weapon systems is a "big step towards self-reliance in defence" adding that the 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 and developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the armed forces."
The defence ministry prepared the list after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, comprising the armed forces, public and private industry players "to assess current and future capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition and equipment within India."
The minister also informed that "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". He stated that the around Rs 4 lakh crore worth of contracts are estimated to be placed upon the domestic industry within the next 6 to 7 years.
"Of these, items worth almost Rs 1,30,000 crore each are anticipated for the Army and Air Force, while items worth almost Rs 1,40,000 crore are anticipated by the Navy over the same period," Singh enunciated in a series of tweets he posted on his official (Twitter) handle.
The minister underlined that the government will take all necessary steps to ensure that "timelines for production of equipment as per the negative import list are met." Singh also pointed out that the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) will identify more such equipment for import embargo "in consultation with all stakeholders."
He stated that the defence ministry has also "bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes" adding that the ministry has created a separate budget "with an outlay of nearly Rs 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year".