‘Self-reliance’: India puts ban on import of 101 defence items

NEW DELHI: India on Sunday announced a negative arms list, under which imports of 101 weapons and platforms will be progressively banned from December 2020 to December 2025, in a bid to bolster the fledgling indigenous defence production sector.
The defence ministry (MoD) said the list will be expanded or updated periodically, without compromising on the operational requirements of the armed forces, to allow lead-time to the domestic industry to prepare itself for any such procurement orders likely to come up subsequent to the indicated embargo.
The list of 101 embargoed items ranges from some types of ammunition, sonars and radars to artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, transport aircraft and light combat helicopters, among others.

Announcing the decision, defence minister Rajnath Singh said the MoD was now ready for a big push to the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative announced by PM Narendra Modi.
“The MoD has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on their imports beyond the timelines indicated against them. This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence,” he said.
“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 and developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the armed forces,” he added.
India, incidentally, has for long languished in the strategically-vulnerable position of being among the top arms importers in the world. In the 2015-2019 timeframe, India was the second-largest buyer of foreign weaponry after Saudi Arabia, accounting for 9.2% of the total global arms imports, as was earlier reported by TOI.
The negative list also includes wheeled armoured fighting vehicles with the indicative import embargo date of December 2021, of which the Army is expected to contract around 200 at an approximate cost of over Rs 5,000 crore.
Similarly, the Navy is likely to place demands for conventional diesel-electric submarines with indicative import embargo date of December 2021, of which it expects to contract about six at an approximate cost of almost Rs 42,000 crore.

The MoD said the list was prepared after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, including the Army, Navy, IAF, DRDO, defence PSUs, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the private industry, to assess current and future capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition, weapons, platforms and equipment within the country.

“Almost 260 schemes of such items were contracted by the three Services at an approximate cost of Rs 3.5 lakh crore between April 2015 and August 2020. With the latest embargo on import of 101 items, it is estimated that contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next five to seven years,” it said.
“Of these, items worth almost Rs 1,30,000 crore each are anticipated for the Army and IAF, while items worth almost Rs 1,40,000 crore are anticipated for the Navy over the same period,” it added.

The aim behind the promulgation of the list is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the armed forces so that they are better prepared to realize the goal of indigenization, said the MoD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *