A total 333 private companies have been issued 539 industrial licences for defence production in India and out of these, 110 companies have started production.

In a written reply to Vijay Pal Singh Tomar in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said that the defence industry sector, which was hitherto reserved for the public sector, was opened up to 100 per cent for Indian private sector participation in May, 2001. Thereafter, many measures have been taken by the government to promote private sector participation.

Out of the total capital acquisition budget for the year 2021-22, 64.09 per cent has been earmarked for domestic capital procurement, while the defence capital outlay has been increased by 18.75 per cent in the Budget for FY 2021-22, the minister informed.

The Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 has been revised as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020, which is driven by the tenets of the defence reforms announced as part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India campaign), Bhatt said.

In order to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment, the ‘Buy’ (Indian-IDDM or Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment, he said.

The ministry has notified a ‘Positive indigenisation list’ of 209 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them.

This would offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the armed forces in the coming years, Bhatt said.