The Ministry of Defence is likely to come out with the second negative import list within a few weeks, a source in the ministry said on Wednesday. The second list of an import embargo on defence weapon systems will further boost the indigenisation of defence production.
The second negative import list owing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The second list includes bigger weapon systems such as tanks and aircraft and others. “The consultations with all the stakeholders, including the industry, are over. The Department of Military Affairs is taking a final look into the list of weapon systems that would be banned for import,” said the source.
Last week, Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary Defence Production, said that the second negative import list will come out very soon. The officer, speaking at a webinar on “Defence testing and certification for speedy procurement” by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had also said that the list got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The list is likely to come by the end of the month or the beginning of next month,” the source said.
The ministry came out with the first negative import list last year. The ministry had listed 101 military items that cannot be imported from abroad. It is estimated that contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next 6 to 7 years after this step.
Then Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stated that it was done in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. This decision offered 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 and developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces.
The formulation of a negative list was proposed in the draft Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. The negative list included sniper rifles, short-range surface-to-air missiles, ultra-light Howitzers, among others.