Rajnath Singh
He pointed out that the nuclear option should not be resorted to by any side as the prospect of the usage of nuclear or radiological weapons goes against the basic tenets of humanity | File Image

Baby steps to 'self-reliance': Defence ministry imposes embargo on 101 items

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In a further push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for a self-reliant India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday (August 9) announced that the ministry will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.

Making the announcement on Twitter, Singh said, “The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to #AtmanirbharBharat initiative. MoD will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.”

Apart from simple parts, the list of embargoed items will include high technology weapons systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, LCHs and radars, the minister informed.

The embargo will be implemented between 2020 and 2024.

“Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi has given a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the five pillars, i.e., Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography & Demand and announced a special economic package for Self-Reliant India named  ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat’,” Singh tweeted.

In a series of tweets that followed, he laid down the details of the decision which Singh said was taken after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders including the armed forces and public and private industry to gauge the capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing ammunition and equipment in India.

“The decision will offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture the items in the negative list by using their own design and development capabilities or adopting the technologies designed & developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces,” he said.

The Defence Minister tweeted that almost 260 schemes of such items were contracted by the Tri-Services Guard of Honour, an adhoc infantry company of the armed forces, at an approximate cost of ₹3.5 lakh crore between April 2015 and August 2020.

“It is estimated that contracts worth almost ₹4 lakh crore will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next 6 to 7 years,” he tweeted.

“Of these, items worth almost ₹1,30,000 crore each are anticipated for the Army and the Air Force while items worth ₹1,40,000 crore are anticipated by the Navy over the same period,” he added.

According to the defence minister, the embargo list also includes wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) with indicative import embargo date of December 2021, of which the Army is expected to contract almost 200 at an approximate cost of over ₹5,000 crore.

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