‘Make in India’ programme gives boost to indigenous production of defence equipment, says Central government

Published : Feb 07, 2022 20:40 IST

The light combat aircraft Tejas, seen here at the Air Force Station, Sulur, Coimbatore.

The light combat aircraft Tejas, seen here at the Air Force Station, Sulur, Coimbatore.

The Narendra Modi government claimed in Parliament on February 7 that the foreign component of expenditure incurred for capital acquisition towards the modernisation of the defence services has been progressively decreasing since 2018-19.

While in the 2018-19 financial year, foreign procurement totalled Rs.36,957 crore and was 48.68 percentage of the total capital acquisition, it went down to 41.89 per cent in 2019-20 (at Rs.38,156 crore), fell further to 36 per cent in 2020-21 (at Rs.42,786 crore) and stood at 39.44 per cent until December 2021 of the 2021-22 financial year (at Rs.29,658 crore).

The corollary of the downsizing in foreign procurement has meant a rise in the indigenous production of defence and aerospace related items. During the same period Indian entities have produced equipment and services totalling Rs.81,120 crore in 2018-19; Rs.79,071 crore in 2019-20; and Rs.84,643 crore in 2021-21.

The government said that during the last three years, viz from 2018-19 to 2020-21 and until December 2021 of the current financial year, it has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 150 proposals totalling Rs.2,47,515 crore approximately, under various categories of capital procurement which promote domestic manufacturing of spares and import substitution.

The government has attributed the decrease in foreign spend, and thereby the reduction in the dependence on imports and the increase in domestic manufacture, to several policy initiatives under the “Make in India” programme, according priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP-2020) and the notification of ‘Positive Indigenisation Lists’ totalling some 3,000 items required by the Armed Forces and the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

Among the significant projects fructifying because of the boost to the indigenious effort under the “Make in India” initiative include the 155mm artillery gun system Dhanus; the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas; the Surface to Air Missile system Akash; submarines INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi; the Kolkata-class stealth guided missile destroyer INS Chennai; and the anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kavaratti among others.

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