The Government has taken a decision to put an interim embargo on import of 101 defence weapons/platforms with an intention to promote manufacture by Indian Industries. This information was tabled in a written reply by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik to a question asked by Shri Jagdambika Pal in Lok Sabha.
The decision to Boost Indian MSME Manufacturers
In order to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under Ministry of Defence vide their office Memorandum dated 21/08/2020 has issued a negative list of imports comprising of 101 weapon/platforms, along with indicative timelines/year of import embargo for these items. The Department of Defence Production (DDP) has done capability mapping of DPSUs/OFB/Private Sector for manufacturing 101 items after taking feedback from DPSUs/OFB and private industry associations.
However, it is expected that this decision will motivate Indian MSME manufacturers. In the last few years, the Government of India and Ministry of MSME is pushing the opportunity of defence among Indian MSME manufacturers. Government agencies like NSIC are working in the area of MSME engagements with respect to enabling the MSMEs to gear up for defence-related manufacturing.
In order to achieve self-reliance, the Government has taken various initiatives which, inter-alia, include a priority to procure defence items from Indian Vendors as per Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020; simplification of Make Procedure; liberalisation of FDI Policy; launching of SRIJAN Portal to promote indigenization; reforms in offset policy; launch of Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme; and implementation of ‘Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India)’ Order-2017.