Licences given to companies to manufacture arms will now be valid for the firm’s lifetime and need not be renewed every five years, the Centre said on Monday. This was part of a list of measures the Home Affairs Ministry has taken to “liberalise” the Arms Rules, to encourage investment and job creation.
Companies do not need the ministry’s approval anymore to sell small arms and light weapons to the central or state governments, the Home Minister said.
The revised rules came into effect on Friday. They apply to licences granted by the Home Ministry for small arms and ammunition. They are also applicable to licences given by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion for tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, defence aircraft, spacecraft and warships.
The new rules will “facilitate availability of world-class weapons” to meet the needs of Indian armed forces and police, the ministry said. They also remove the need to get approvals for tasks such as enhancing capacity by up to a given limit. Licence fees have also been lowered, the government said.