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Indian Govt clears 33 long pending defence projects

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The Indian Ministry of Defence in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Government has cleared 33 pending defence projects, including those of Reliance Aerospace, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Telephonic Integrated Systems and Tata Advanced Materials, a move that is expected to boost advanced manufacturing and attract huge investments.

The Licensing Committee, chaired by Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has cleared these long pending applications last week and granted industrial licences to them, an official statement said.

The 33 projects include 14 cases whose applicants have been informed that licences were not required anymore as a vast number of defence items have been delicensed, it added.

"It has been possible to approve these cases as a consequence of the simplification of FDI policy," the release said, adding that the development would give a big boost to 'Make In India' campaign which seeks to make the country a hub for global manufacturing.

The Narendra Modi-led government has liberalised the FDI policy in the defence sector by hiking the cap from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

India imports up to 70 per cent of its military hardware.

"It is expected that clearance of these 33 applications and the deregulation of defence product list excluding a large number of components from purview of industrial licensing will provide a major impetus to advanced manufacturing in defence sector," the statement said.

According to sources, the decision is expected to result in investments of billions of dollars.

The Licensing Committee also discussed the possibility of removal of stipulation of annual capacity in the industrial licence as also to permit sale of licensed items to other entities under the control of Home Ministry, state governments, PSUs and other defence licensed companies without requiring approval of the Department of Defence Production.

"It was agreed that the above stipulation would be relaxed subject to submission of bi-annual returns by the unit. The DIPP would be shortly notifying the above decision by issue of a Press Note," the release said.

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