New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi took extensive review meetings of the defence ministry departments dealing with indigenous defence production and development before the release of the negative import list by the government under which 101 items and equipment have been banned for procurement from abroad.
A few days ago, the Defence Ministry issued a list of 101 items compiled by the Department of Military Affairs including big-ticket items like submarines, artillery guns and assault rifles which would not be imported from abroad in a phased manner in the next two to three years.
“The Prime Minister took an extensive review of the Department of Defence Production and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the last fortnight to know about the work being done by them and what all capabilities have they developed over these years,” government sources told ANI.
During separate review meetings held in the Prime Minister’s Office, details were presented to the Prime Minister about the different projects and major work done by them for increasing indigenization in the military hardware being used by the armed forces for their different operational requirements, the sources said.
During the meetings held in presence of senior bureaucrats including Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, the Prime Minister also sought to know the status of the preparation of the negative imports list which was announced in May this year during the COVID-19 lockdown period as measures to boost indigenous production in the military sector, the sources said.
The Prime Minister was briefed by the Chief of Defence Staff on the status of the list and also how there would be a frequent review of the list and more items would be added to it, the sources said. The complaints and suggestions of private sector industry were also mentioned during the meetings, the sources added.
It was after these meetings that the Defence Ministry fast-tracked the work on preparing the negative imports list for the defence sector and more items were added before releasing it.
The items mentioned in the negative imports list include water jet fast attack craft to survey vessels, pollution control vessels, light transport aircraft, GSAT-6 terminals, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, to certain rifles, artillery guns, bulletproof jackets, missile destroyers, etc. (ANI)