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Defence ministry puts restrictions on import of 351 items under staggered timeline

NEW DELHI (PTI):  The defence ministry on Wednesday announced a fresh list of 351 sub-systems and components that will not be allowed to be imported under a staggered timeline beginning December next year.

It is the third list released by the ministry in the last 16 months and it comes as part of the government's overall aim to make India a hub of manufacturing of military platforms and equipment.

The ministry said the new initiative will save foreign exchange equivalent to around Rs 3,000 crore annually.

It also released a list of 2,500 items that it said have already been "indigenised".

"A positive indigenisation list of sub-systems/assemblies/sub-assemblies/components has been notified by the department of defence production, Ministry of Defence, as part of the efforts to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing and minimise imports by defence public sector undertakings," the ministry said in a statement.

It said "351 imported items" will be "indigenised" in the next three years.

The notification on the new list was issued on Monday.

The ministry said the items mentioned in the list will only be procured from Indian industries as per the timelines indicated.

According to the notification, import restrictions on the first set of 172 items will come into force by December next year while the same provisions will be applicable on another batch of 89 components by December 2023.



Import restrictions on another set of 90 items will come into effect by December 2024.

The items included laser warning sensor, high-pressure check valve, high-pressure globe valve, drainage intrusion detection systems, various types of cables, sockets and voltage control oscillator.

In August last year, the ministry announced that India will stop the import of 101 weapons and military platforms like transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines, cruise missiles and sonar systems by 2024.

A second list, putting import restrictions on 108 military weapons and systems such as next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines and radars, was issued in May.

In the last few years, the government has taken a series of measures to boost domestic defence manufacturing.

In May last year, the government announced increasing the FDI limit from 49 per cent to 74 per cent under the automatic route in the defence sector.

India is one of the largest importers of arms globally. According to estimates, the Indian armed forces are projected to spend around USD 130 billion (one billion is equal to 100 crores) in capital procurement in the next five years.

The government now wants to reduce dependence on imported military platforms and has decided to support domestic defence manufacturing.

The defence ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years that included an export target of USD 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of military hardware.

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