The next list of 101 defence-related items whose import would be banned to push 'Make in India' in the military hardware sector is expected to include ammunition for major weapon systems and integrated systems such as aircraft.
To prepare the list known as the 'positive list of indigenisation' is expected to be issued by the Department of Military Affairs headed by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat by the end of this month and discussions are being held with the indigenous defence industry players mainly involving the private sector. A major focus would be on banning the import of all types of ammunition in a given timeframe as this is the most critical part of our defence preparedness. If the ammunition is produced within the country, we would be able to meet our requirements even during times of emergency, senior government sources told ANI.
This would also help the country to save money demanded by the foreign suppliers in times of crisis like the ones we had in China and Pakistan in the recent past, they said. The DMA has been holding discussions with the possible industry partners and asking them to provide a certain timeframe in which they would be able to develop and produce the desired ammunition within the country, the sources said.
The DMA has also been discussing the possibility of the private sector industry producing major weapon systems such as aircraft for military requirements and other such systems. The first such list was issued around the same time last year and has stopped the import of any foreign artillery guns and submarines and they are supposed to be built in India even if there is a requirement of a foreign partner in it.
This also led to the Indian Army withholding a possible deal to procure artillery guns from Israel and is now evaluating an indigenous gun system called ATAGS developed by the DRDO and produced by the Tata-Kalyani combination. The import of items mentioned in the list is not going to be stopped immediately and time would be given by the Defence Ministry to the forces as well as the local manufacturers to prepare their production base.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been emphasizing on Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) in the defence sector to reduce imports for the military and create new jobs and expanding exports of weapon systems to friendly foreign countries.