Earlier this month, in a step that could bolster India's domestic defence manufacturing industry, the Narendra Modi government announced its decision to impose import restrictions on 101 items. The embargo on imports on these defence equipment would be progressively implemented till 2024.
According to defence ministry estimates, contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed with domestic manufacturers within the next six to seven years. CNBC-TV18 also learns that the DRDO has drawn up a list of 108 items to be made in India.
On the face of it, the decision to push the indigenous defence manufacturing industry should be laudable. The big questions that the panelists are discussing today are, what needs to be done to truly involve private sector participation? What steps need to be taken to ensure there a clear roadmap for investment? How can the government ensure time bound procurement and encourage strategic partnership in the true sense?
In this special first of its kind interactive session on Atmanirbhar Bharat - ministry of defence outreach programme, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke with the defence minister Rajnath Singh; general Bipin Rawat, chief of defence staff; general Manoj Mukund Naravane, chief of the army staff; admiral Karambir Singh, chief of the naval staff and air chief marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, chief of the air staff.
Also, Dr Ajay Kumar, the defence secretary; Raj Kumar, the defence production secretary; Dr G Sateesh Reddy, the DRDO chairman; professor K Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the government of India; FICCI president Sangita Reddy; Baba Kalyani, the CMD of Bharat Forge; SP Shukla, the chairman of Mahindra Defence and the chairman of the FICCI defence committee as well as the stalwarts from the Indian defence manufacturing space are on the panel.