NEW DELHI: The Government has waived both excise and customs duties on the Indian companies going into the defence production to let them have an equal playing field with the foreign vendors who are exempted from the customs duty.

The waiver came on the private companies complaining that the government companies engaged in defence production were already enjoying the exemption of excise and customs duties. The private companies will also be able to import material without paying any customs duty, the defence ministry sources said.

Already 61 companies, including those by big players like Reliance, Tatas and Mahindra, have already been given licences for defence production. The government has also increased the FDI limit in defence up to 49 per cent, though it has not attracted many foreign companies to invest in India.