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Defence Ministry notifies second negative import list

209 items now on ‘positive indigenisation list’ for local procurement.

The Defence Ministry on Monday notified the second negative import list — now renamed as the ‘positive indigenisation list’ — of 108 items that can now be only purchased from indigenous sources. The new list takes the total number on the list to 209. It is planned to be implemented progressively with effect from December 2021 to December 2025, the Defence Ministry said.

“The second list lays special focus on weapons and systems which are currently under development/trials and are likely to translate into firm orders in the future. Like the first list, import substitution of ammunition which is a recurring requirement has been given special focus,” a Ministry statement said.

The ‘second positive indigenisation list’ comprises complex systems, sensors, simulator, weapons and ammunitions like helicopters, next generation corvettes, Air Borne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems, tank engines, medium power radar for mountains, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) weapon systems and many more such items to fulfil the requirements of Indian armed forces, it stated.

The second list has been prepared after several rounds of consultations with government and private manufacturing industry confederations to assess future capabilities of Indian Industry which will be able to meet requirements of the armed forces, the statement said.

“Not only does the list recognise the potential of local defence industry, it will also invigorate impetus to domestic Research and Development by attracting fresh investment into technology and manufacturing capabilities,” it said.

The list also provides an excellent opportunity for ‘start-ups’ as also Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the statement said.

Towards this, the Ministry, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Service Head Quarters will take all necessary steps, including hand holding of the industry, to ensure that the timelines mentioned in the list are met, “thereby facilitating an environment for Indian defence manufacturers to create world class infrastructure, assist in the government’s ‘Make in India’ vision to make India self-reliant in defence and develop the capabilities for defence export in the near future,” it added.

As part of efforts to boost the domestic defence industry and promote defence exports, last August, the government notified first ‘positive indigenisation’ list comprising 101 items. The Ministry is also soon expected to put out the final version of the ‘Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020’, the draft of which was released last August for public feedback.

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