Aatmanirbharta! Defence Ministry Bars Imports

With the aim of promoting Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) in weaponry and defence equipment and minimise imports by defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs), the ministry of defence on Sunday, May 14, 2023, promulgated a list of 928 strategically important spares and components that would face curbs on their import.

This so-called 4th Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) will include Rs 715 crore (Rs 7.15 billion) worth of high-end materials and spares, the import of which will be permitted only until a date specified for each.

After each one’s import deadline elapses, it will have to be procured from Indian industry.

This fourth PIL list follows the earlier PILs, which restricted the import of a range of line-replaceable units (LRUs), sub-systems, assemblies, spares, and components of defence systems.

The 1st PIL comprising 101 items, was promulgated in August 2020. The 2nd PIL comprising 108 items, was promulgated in May 2021. The 3rd PIL comprising 101 items, was promulgated in April 2022.

The MoD has also notified three PILs as regards DPSUs, comprising 3,738 major LRUs, sub-systems, assemblies, spares, and components, each with an embargo on their import from defined timelines.

Further, more than 26,000 defence items have been uploaded on the defence ministry’s Srijan defence portal and offered to the industry for indigenisation.

So far, 7,031 items have been indigenised, catering to domestic and global markets.

Some 2,500 items have already been indigenised from the earlier lists, and 1,238 items are due to be indigenised within three specified timelines. Of these 1,238 items, 310 have been indigenised so far.

It has been planned that the DPSUs will undertake indigenisation of these items through different routes under the ‘Make’ category, in addition to developing in-house through capabilities of medium, small, and micro enterprises that are part of private Indian industry.

The implementation of import bans is expected to give impetus to economic growth, enhance investment in defence, and reduce DPSUs’ import dependence. This is also expected to augment the design capabilities of the domestic defence industry by involving academia and research institutions.

The DPSUs have been instructed to initiate the procurement of these notified items.

Details are available at https://srijandefence.gov.in/ (external link).

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