Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that more items will be added to a list of 101 military equipment, whose import the Centre has banned. The move will save “crores of rupees in imports,” he said.
On Sunday, the Union minister had 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.
At the inaugural session of the “Atmanirbharta Saptah [self-reliant week]”, which was done through video conferencing in Kolkata, Singh said the ban of defence equipment is a “big step” towards making India self-reliant.
“This list of negative items contains not only small items but weapon systems of high and critical technology,” Singh said. “More such items will be added to this list shortly which will save crores of rupees in imports.”
The defence minister also praised the central government for its “timely and thoughtful interventions” during the Covid-19 pandemic such as raising foreign direct investment limits, issuing a negative import list and creating a separate budget for domestic capital procurement.
On Sunday, Singh had said the items embargoed for import will include artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft and radars.
He had said 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.
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.