Atmanirbhar Bharat: Defence Ministry announces ban on 101 import items
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday announced an import embargo on 101 items in a bid to boost the indigenization of defense production. The Minister said that the big push for indigenization comes after the Centre's Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative. The embargoed items include artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), sonar systems, etc. Here are more details.
101 items embargoed for import beyond indicated timeline: Singh
In a series of tweets, Singh said that the Ministry of Defence has taken a cue from the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and prepared a list of 101 items that would be embargoed for import beyond the timeline indicated against them.
Big step towards self-reliance in defense: Singh
Singh said, "This decision will offer a great opportunity to the Indian defense 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 (Defence Research and Development Organisation) to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces." "This is a big step towards self-reliance in defense," Singh said.
Which items have been embargoed for import?
Singh said the list of embargoed items has been prepared by the Defence Ministry after several rounds of consultation with all stakeholders. He said the list includes high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, Light Combat Helicopters, radars, etc. He added, "The list also includes, wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles with indicative import embargo date of December 2021."
Rs. 4L crore contracts to be placed upon domestic industry
Singh said, "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-August 2020." He said contracts worth Rs. 4L crore will be placed upon the domestic industry by 2024. Items worth Rs. 1.3L crore each are anticipated for the Army and Air Force and Rs. 1.4L crore for the Navy.
Embargo to be progressively implemented till 2024
Singh said the embargo will be progressively implemented between 2020 and 2024. "All necessary steps would be taken to ensure that timelines for production of equipment as per the Negative Import List are met, which will include a co-ordinated mechanism for handholding of the industry by the Defense Services," he said, adding that more items will be identified for the import embargo.
Capital procurement budget for 2020-21 bifurcated
Further, Singh said that the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 has also been bifurcated between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. In the current financial year, a separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly Rs. 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement.