Millennium Post

More items will be included in negative list of defence imports: Rajnath Singh

Kolkata: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Monday asserted the ban on import of 101 types of military equipment is a big step towards making India self-reliant in defence production and more items will be added to the list soon.

Singh, who digitally inaugurated two new projects at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata as part of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Week' celebrations, said in a Facebook post later that the "week of self-reliance" will witness initiatives for modernisation and upgradation of defence facilities.

The ban on import of 101 items is a big step towards an Atma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). This list of negative items contains not only small items but weapon systems of high and critical technology. More such items will be added to this list shortly which will save crores of rupees in imports, he said in a Facebook post after the webinar.

Singh said the central government has made several "timely and thoughtful" interventions during Covid-19 times like issuing negative list for import, increasing FDI limits and a separate budget for domestic capital procurement.

The Atmanirbharta Saptah (self-reliance week) will be a witness to initiatives pertaining to modernisation & up- gradation of facilities by DPSUs & OFB. As part of Atmanirbharta Saptah, the DPSUs & OFB are also organising a series of webinars covering all relevant topics including all stakeholders, he said.

The Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are key to India's pursuit of enhancement of military capabilities.

In a major reform initiative to boost the domestic defence industry, Singh on Sunday announced restrictions on import of 101 weapons and military platforms including artillery guns, assault rifles and transport aircraft.

A state-of-the-art indigenous underwater CNC Plasma Cutting Machine and a Modern Hull Block Fabrication Complex were digitally inaugurated by Singh at GRSE, a press statement said.

The CNC Plasma Cutting facility set up at a cost of Rs 4.14 crore will enhance the plate cutting capacity by 30% and the complex constructed at a cost of Rs 19 crore for hull block fabrication will enable concurrent construction of large-sized (40 Ton) hull blocks in a covered environment, it said.

Both these facilities will go a long way in enhancing the production capacity of the shipyard, especially during the execution of the three major warship building projects comprising of 15 warships that GRSE is presently handling for the Indian Navy.

These include P17A Stealth Frigates, the ASW Shallow Water Craft and the Survey Vessels (Large), the statement said.

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