Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced embargo on import of 101 types of military equipment in an attempt to develop and promote indigenous weapons.
"The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. MoD will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production. The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024," Singh tweeted on August 9.
The Negative Imports List includes high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters and radars.
Contracts worth almost $53.35 billion (INR 4 lakh crore) will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next 6 to 7 years. Almost 260 schemes of such items were contracted by the Tri-Services at an approximate cost of $46.7 billion (INR 3.5 lakh crore) between April 2015 and August 2020, Singh said Sunday.
"This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence. 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 defence minister tweeted.
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.
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.
"More such equipment for import embargo would be identified progressively by the DMA in consultation with all stakeholders. A due note of this will also be made in the DAP to ensure that no item in the negative list is processed for import in the future," the Indian defence minister added.