Domestic Procurement, Positive List And Defence Corridors, Govt Lists Efforts To Increase ‘Made In India’ Defence Equipment

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The Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Monday (19 July), said that in line with the Government of India’s initiative of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, it has been decided to earmark an amount of Rs 71,438.36 crore for domestic capital procurement out of the total allocation of Rs 1,11,463.21 crore for capital acquisition.

“Capital procurement of defence equipment is undertaken from various domestic as well as foreign vendors, based on threat perception, operational challenges and technological changes and to keep the armed forces in a state of readiness,” the Ministry of Defence said.

“During the last three financial years i.e. 2018-19 to 2020-21, 102 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment such as aircrafts, missiles, tanks, bullet proof jackets, guns, navy vessels, radars, networks etc,” it added.

Two positive indigenisation lists have been promulgated to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

The first positive indigenisation list was promulgated in August 2020, which included 101 items, and the second list was promulgated in May 2021, which included 108 items.

The aim behind the promulgation of the lists is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the armed forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation.

It provides an excellent opportunity for the Indian defence industry to manufacture the items in the list by using their design and development capabilities or adopting those developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to meet the requirements of the armed forces in the coming years.

In the last three financial years, i.e. from 2018-19 to 2020-2021, Government has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 119 Defence proposals, worth Rs 2,15,690 crore approximately, under the various categories of capital acquisition, which promotes domestic manufacturing as per Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP).

Many significant projects including 155mm artillery gun system ‘Dhanush’, Bridge Laying Tank, Thermal Imaging Sight Mark-II for T-72 tank, Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’, ‘Akash’ Surface to Air Missile system, Submarine ‘INS Kalvari’, ‘INS Chennai’, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette (ASWC), Arjun Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle, Landing craft utility, etc. have been produced in the country under ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government in last few years.

Also, the Modi government has established two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Investments to a tune of Rs 20,000 crore are planned in the Defence corridors of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu by the year 2024.

Minister said that progress is reviewed regularly at the apex level. So far, around Rs 3,342 crore has been invested in both the corridors by public and private sector companies. Moreover, the respective state governments have also announced their aerospace and defence policies to attract private players and foreign companies, including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), in these two corridors.

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