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Indian Govt plans to procure military equipment worth Rs 5 lakh cr from domestic source in next 5-7 yrs

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NEW DELHI (PTI):  The defence ministry has said it plans to procure military equipment worth Rs 5 lakh crore from the domestic industries in the next five to seven years in line with its policy of promoting indigenous defence manufacturing.

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt put out the projected figure of procurement from domestic sources while replying to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

In August 2020, the ministry announced that India will stop the import of 101 weapons and military platforms like transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines, cruise missiles and sonar systems by 2024.

A second list, putting import restrictions on 108 military weapons and systems such as next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines and radars, under a staggered timeline was issued in May last year.

In December, the ministry released a list containing 2,500 items, which have already been developed indigenously. It also released a list of 351 equipment that will be developed within the country by December 2024.

The minister in his reply mentioned the lists and the government's priorities.

"The positive indigenisation list comprises defence equipment which will be designed, developed and manufactured over a period from 2020 to 2025," he said, adding that the it was not possible to assess at this juncture the actual on account of the decision to not import the items.

"However, as per available projections, it is estimated that over approximately Rs 5 lakh crore worth of equipment included in both the positive indigenisation lists will be procured from domestic industry over the next five to seven years," he said.

In the last few years, the government has taken a series of measures to boost domestic defence manufacturing.

In May last year, the government announced increasing the FDI limit from 49 per cent to 74 per cent under the automatic route in the defence sector.

India is one of the largest importers of arms globally. According to estimates, the Indian armed forces are projected to spend around USD 130 billion (one billion is equal to 100 crores) in capital procurement in the next five years.

The government now wants to reduce dependence on imported military platforms and has decided to support domestic defence manufacturing.

The Defence Ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years that included an export target of USD 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of military hardware.

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