In a big push to the “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” initiative, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday announced an embargo on 101 items “beyond given timeline” to boost indigenous production.
The list includes “not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, radars and many other items to fulfil the needs of our defence services” Defence minister Rajnath Singh said in a series of tweets on Sunday.
“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,” the minister said.
This embargo on imports would be progressively implemented between 2020 and 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,” Singh said.
The defence minister said that the arms list was prepared by the ministry after consultations with stakeholders, including the armed forces, public and private industry.
“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,” the defence minister said in a tweet.
Of these, items worth almost Rs 1.3 lakh crore each are anticipated for the Army and the Air Force, while items worth almost Rs 1.4 lakh crore are anticipated by the Navy over the same period, Singh added.
Singh said the embargo list comprises not only “simple parts”, but also some high-technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and radars, among others.