NEW DELHI: The Indian industry on Sunday welcomed the defence ministry’s move to stop import of 101 defence items in a phased manner, beginning December 2020, with one representative describing it as a "new glide path" for "AtmaNirbhar Bharat".

In his remarks, Chandrajit Bannerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) lobby group welcomed the negative list and the announcement that ₹52,000 crore would be earmarked for procurement from domestic manufacturers.

"The defence minister's announcement for negative import list of defence systems and platforms marks the launch of a 'new glide path' for 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat'," he said.

"The announcement of ₹52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement coupled with the list of 101 items for import embargo gives a tremendous boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat and indigenous defence manufacturing...We can assure the Defence Minister that the Indian Defence and Aerospace industry will rise to the Challenge and opportunities," Bannerjee added.

In a separate statement, Baba Kalyani, chairman and managing director of Bharat Forge, a leading forging company, said Sunday’s announcements were a strategic step that will “propel the Atmanirbhar Bharat narrative and bolster Indian defence equipment manufacturing industry".

"The growth of the domestic industry especially the MSME sector, will lead to self-reliance, reduced expenditure on imports, saving of foreign currency, creating job opportunities, revival of consumption and ultimately getting us closer to the common goal of 5 trillion economy. We are committed and will support the Indian Government achieve the goal," a statement quoting Kalyani said.

On Sunday, the defence ministry introduced import embargo on 101 items beyond a given timeline to boost the indigenisation of defence production. “This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence," defence minister Rajnath Singh said in a Twitter post.

On its part, FICCI also welcomed the Sunday announcements describing it as a "great leap forward for Atmanirbhar Bharat program in defence production."

The earmarking of ₹52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement "fulfils a request by FICCI Defence Committee to provide long-term visibility on defence procurement plans," SP Shukla, who heads FICCI’s defence committee, said in a statement.