(This article is originally posted by the India Today)
To boost indigenous defence manufacturing, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is likely to include tanks and aircraft in the second negative list of defence items and ban their import in the future.
“For the new negative list, the CDS is preparing it in consultation with industry stakeholders and discussing inclusion of bigger weapon systems such as tanks and aircraft,” top defence sources told India Today.
Industry leaders are also discussing timeframes in which the domestic industry would be ready to supply the larger integrated platforms for the defence forces, sources said.
Last year, the government announced a ban on import of 101 weapons, platforms, and equipment. The list comprises simple parts to high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, sonar systems, transport aircraft and radars.
The task of preparing the negative arms import list has been assigned to the Department of Military Affairs under General Bipin Rawat.
India has for years been among the world’s top three importers of defence equipment. Every year, the forces spend over Rs 2 lakh crore in acquiring defence hardware under both capital and revenue heads.
The development is in line with the government’s aim of creating its own private defence industry, which can produce large scale platforms and provide jobs within the country. The government also wants to cut its large defence import bill.
An estimated Rs 4 lakh crore worth of orders for the armed forces are likely to be placed with domestic manufacturers over the next seven years, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said.