In a major push towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat in the military sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government is going to shelve a number of defence import projects being acquired through the Buy (Global) route. This initiative from the government comes at a time when the Centre is coming up with the new Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy which will lay down the way ahead for strengthening defence production within the country and help in their export to friendly foreign countries.
A high-level meeting of the Defence Ministry will take place virtually on Wednesday in which all the import projects under Buy (Global) category would be reviewed and are likely to be scrapped or put on hold by the government, government sources told ANI. Buy Global category means that defence forces can fully import the item from foreign vendors. Sources said that now first preference would be given to the acquisition of Indian Developed Designed and Manufactured (IDDM) products. The major push for ‘Make in India’ is going to ensure that projects worth several thousand crores would be given to the Indian manufacturers, they said.
The decision would mean that a large number of projects of the Indian Navy, Air Force and the Army would get impacted including the ones which are in a fairly advanced stage like the Kamov helicopter acquisition project of the Indian Navy. A number of projects related to aircraft including combat platforms, guns and vessels are going to be affected by this new intuition of the government.
The initiative is coming after Prime Minister Modi took a review meeting with the Defence Ministry officials including the then Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat where it was felt that strong measures will have to be taken to ensure that country moves firmly towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat in the defence sector. After the meeting took place, an Additional Secretary-rank officer of the Defence Ministry wrote a note to the three Services saying that “All stakeholders may take an in-principle call that no import of defence items is going forward.” “All capital and revenue procurement proposed or currently underway to be critically reviewed. This review is to be completed by January 15,” it said. The Prime Minister has been personally reviewing the progress of Make in India in the defence sector and has from time to time asked officials in both services and the Defence Ministry to ensure that more steps are taken to promote Make in India in defence.