The Defence Ministry has begun to prepare a second negative list for the defence sector to expand the number of military items whose import would be prohibited.

This was announced by Raj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Defence Production on Monday at an webinar organised by the FICCI to discuss the ways and means of improving participation of Indian industry in the defence sector.

Earlier this month, the Defence Ministry came up with a list of 101 military items ranging from artillery guns to diesel-electric submarines and communication satellites that would not be imported. The aim was to enhance indigenous manufacturing in the defence sector.

“The government is now working on the second negative import list of defence items. The list will be expanded periodically. We are examining when the second list will come and expect the industry to come forward and start investing to meet our requirements,” he added.

The Defence Ministry has also prepared a roadmap to promote indigenous military platforms and weapons to boost their exports.

“We are preparing country-wise profiles of products, weapons and platforms which are probably needed by our friendly countries so that we can web interactions led by the industry. Diplomatic channels will be used to promote exports ,” Kumar said.

India’s defence export jumped by nearly 700% between 2016-17 (Rs 1,521 crore) to 2018-19 (Rs 10,745 crore) with the government exporting military products to 42 countries. The BJP-led central government has now fixed a target of Rs 35,000 crore ($5 billion) defence export in the next five years.

Kumar said the proposal for up to 74% FDI in defence sector through automated route has been submitted to the Cabinet. The draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 also sets a target of $25 billion of domestic production by 2025.