Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday announced that the Centre will impose an embargo on the import of 101 military items “beyond a given timeline” to promote indigenisation in the defence sector, in line with the vision to make the Indian economy self-reliant amid the coronavirus crisis.
“The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to Atma nirbhar Bharat initiative,” Singh wrote on Twitter. “This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence.”
Singh said that the items embargoed for import will include artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft and radars, according to ANI.
The defence minister said the list of items to be embargoed for import has been made after several rounds of talks with the armed forces and industries. “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 and August 2020,” Singh said in a series of tweets. “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.”
Singh said that the import embargo will be progressively implemented between 2020 and 2024. “Our aim is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation,” he said.
The minister added that the government will continue to identify more equipment for import embargo.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in May announced a Rs 20 lakh-crore financial package to tide over the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The prime minister had called for a self-reliant India based on the five crucial pillars of economy, infrastructure, system, demography and demand.
India is seeing an alarming increase in coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the country recorded a huge rise of 64,399 cases, taking its total to 21,53,010. More than 43,000 people have died of the coronavirus in India.