Union Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday stated the ministry of defence is now ready for a big push to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative by introducing import embargo on 101 items beyond a given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.
The list of 101 embargoed items comprises of not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, LCHs, radars and many other items to fulfil the needs of our Defence Services. 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.
Earlier today the minister said, he would be making a big announcement and taking to Twitter, Singh said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the five pillars, i.e., Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography & Demand and announced a special economic package for Self-Reliant India named ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat’,” adding, “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”.
In a series of tweets the union minister holding the portfolio of defence 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”.
The list is prepared by MoD 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 & equipment within India. “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 defence minister said.
The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented from 2020 to 2024. “Our aim is to appraise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation,” the minister said.
The minister further added, “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”.