In keeping with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Defence Ministry proposes to ban the import of weapons that can be made in the country. This suggestion has been made in the second draft of the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2020, in line with the announcements made during the Aatmanirbhar Bharat presentations in March.
The DPP 2020 will now be called Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, according to the draft put out by the Ministry.
The Defence Ministry will notify a list of weapons/platforms banned for import, which will be updated from time to time based on the requirements of the various Services, the draft said. The preparation of this negative list is on.
Besides, a budget head has been created by the Defence Ministry for ‘Make in India’ projects and a provision is being made for domestic capital procurement.
An industry body representative welcomed the move, saying it will mark a fundamental shift in India’s approach that has evolved to include acquisition of technology instead of just procurement of equipment. This is also being seen as a booster for MSMEs.
According to the 48th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, India’s major equipment imports include rockets, simulator and component repair facility for tanks from Russia; laser designation pods, radars, aircraft pods, radios, weapons for ‘Garud’ commandos and missiles from Israel; aircraft, helicopters, missiles, artillery guns and simulators from the US, and aircraft, ammunition, bimodular charge system and high zone modules of artillery guns from France.
India currently exports indigenously developed patrol vessels, helicopters, sonars and radars, avionics, radar warning receivers, small arms, small calibre ammunition, grenades, telecom equipment, coastal surveillance gear, simulators, bullet-proof jackets and body armour.
These will be the low hanging fruits for completely shutting the doors to imports.