Calls it a strategic step bolstering Indian defence equipment manufacturing industry
Bharat Forge, India’s leading forging company has welcomed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement of banning import 101 defence items in a bid to bolster PM Modi’s resolve of making India self-reliant or Atmanirbhar.
“This strategic step will accelerate the Atmanirbhar Bharat narrative and bolster Indian defence equipment manufacturing industry. The growth of the domestic industry especially the MSME sector, will lead to self-reliance, reduced expenditure on imports, saving of foreign currency, creating job opportunities, revival of consumption and ultimately getting us closer to the common goal of 5 trillion economy. We are committed and will support the Indian Government achieve the goal,” Chairman and managing director Baba Kalyani said in an official statement.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 9 August 2020 revealed an import embargo list containing 101 items, with the first set of ban to be implemented starting December 2020.
This will be followed by another set from December 2021 and a third from December 2022.
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 announced in a series of tweets on Sunday.
The list contains several platform, weapon, system, equipment including multi-barrel rocket launcher, 7.62*51 sniper rifle, shipborne cruise missile, short-range land surface to air missiles (Land variant), battalion support weapon systems, tank simulators ( driving as well as crew gunnery), tracked self propelled gun among others.
Light Combat Helicopters, Ground-based ELINT system, GSAT 6 satellite terminal, Chaff rocket launcher, chaff rockets also bag a spot on the list.
“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,” read one of the tweets of the defence minister.
According to Singh, 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 negative list includes platforms like armored fighting vehicles, transport aircraft, corvettes etc. It is however not clear if the system which goes inside these platforms – engines, propulsion systems and AFV weapons – will be imported and assembled in India.
With respect to transport aircraft, MoD’s draft DPP 2020 has already proposed the option of leasing. It is expected that the transport aircraft will be leased rather than being indigenously made.
Meanwhile, according to the defence ministry, 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. 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, Singh tweeted.