New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday announced that the Centre has decided to introduce an import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to "boost indigenisation of defence production".

In a series of tweets, Rajnath Singh called the decision a "step towards self-reliance in defence" and said that the Ministry of Defence has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them.  

"This 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 and developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces," Rajnath Singh tweeted.

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The Defence Minister said that the list has been prepared by the ministry after consulting the Indian Armed Forces and all the stakeholders to assess the "current and future capabilities" of the defence industries in the country, adding that the embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024.

He said that the list 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 Rs 5,000 crore.

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"Almost 260 schemes of such items were contracted by the Tri-Services at an approximate cost of Rs 3.5 lakh crore between April 2015 and August 2020. 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," he tweeted.

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

The Defence Minister also announced that "more equipment for import embargo would be identified progressively", adding that all necessary steps will be taken by the Centre to ensure that timelines for production of equipment as per the Negative Import List are met.

"MoD has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. A separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly Rs 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year," he tweeted.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma