Government to prioritize Indian defense manufacturers over import projects: Report
The central government will reportedly review all major defense import projects under the "Buy Global" category in a push for the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative. A number of import projects would reportedly be canceled and allocated to Indian enterprises. A high-level meeting of the Union Defence Ministry will be held virtually on Wednesday in this regard, sources told ANI.
Why does this story matter?
- The government aims to ensure that local manufacturers are commissioned for defense projects.
- The proposal comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting with Defense Ministry officials, where the importance of Aatmanirbhar Bharat in defense was underlined.
- The development comes as the Indian government prepares to release its new Defense Production and Export Promotion Policy.
What does the new initiative mean?
Defense forces can fully import an item from foreign sellers under the Buy Global category. However, priority would now be given to the acquisition of Indian Developed Designed and Manufactured (IDDM), ANI reported citing sources. The new initiative will ensure that Indian manufacturers receive deals worth several thousand crore rupees, the sources added.
New initiative may impact current projects
This new move will have an impact on a number of aircraft-related initiatives, including, guns, and warships, and combat platforms. For instance, the Indian Navy's acquisition of Russian Kamov choppers, which is nearing completion, is expected to be hampered.
India world's third-largest military spender
With $72.9 billion in military spending in 2020, India was the world's third-largest military spender, according to Statista. India was the second-largest arms importer between 2016 and 2020, accounting for 9.5% of the market share. Notably, the arms imports during the period had dropped by 33% compared to 2011-2015. Further, arms imports in India also amounted to roughly $2.96 billion in 2019.