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India eases norms for entry into defence production

NEW DELHI (PTI): The government on Tuesday further eased the process of obtaining an industrial licence for defence production activities by doing away with the requirement of submission of an affidavit with regard to safety and security procedures.

"It has been decided that the applicants for Industrial License for Defence Products would not be required to submit an affidavit," the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

The decision would help private sector companies involve in defence manufacturing.

The licences for defence sector were being issued on the basis of an affidavit from applicants that they would put in place adequate safety and security procedures.

Through the affidavit, an applicant was also required to comply with the recommendations of the Ministry of Defence regarding appropriate security and auditing procedures as well as its supply chain depending upon the threat perception and sensitivity of the products to be manufactured for defence forces before commencing production of the licensed items, it said.

Last month in a major liberalisation, the government has allowed manufacturing of several hundreds of equipment and products in the defence sector without licence.

Manufacture of products such as sub-assembles items, components, castings, night-visions and surveillance would not require an industrial licence.

Industrial licences would now be required only to make items such as tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles; defence aircraft, spacecraft and parts; warships of all kinds; and arms and ammunition and allied items of defence equipment, parts and accessories.

The government is taking several steps to boost investment and manufacturing in the country. These measures would also help in improving India's ranking in ease of doing business.

It has also upgraded the National Industrial Classification Code with a view to make business climate more investor friendly.

According to a World Bank report, India ranks at 134th position out 189 economies.

In its election manifesto, BJP has said that it would ensure "that a conducive, enabling environment is created making 'doing business' in India easy. We will focus on cutting the red tape, simplifying the procedures and removing the bottlenecks".

Meanwhile in an office memorandum, the Commerce and Industry ministry has extended up to August 31 the date for submission of claims under the special package of industrial licences in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Earlier this year, the Centre has extended the special package for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand till March 2017, a move that would help accelerate industrial growth of both the hilly states.

Under the package, units in these two states get capital investment and freight subsidy.


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