Question: Explain the role of negative defence import list in making India self-reliant and a global hub for defence manufacturing.
Answer: The Union cabinet has extended the negative import list and added some more defence products that cannot be imported and should be produced domestically. This has been a major change as till now India is over-reliant on import of defence equipments.
India’s defence imports
- India is one of the biggest arms importers. Majority of it is procured from Russia and USA.
- This situation has put India’s resources under stress. It is forced to spend large funds on procuring arms at high rate.
- If defence equipments are manufactured locally, it will be a big boost to our defence industry and also economy.
Negative defence import list
It contains a list of defence equipments that should not be imported. They will have to be manufactured locally either through state owned companies or private ones.
Role of negative defence import list in self-reliance and domestic manufacturing
- Reduce cost of equipments
Defence industry development locally will reduce the cost of production drastically. This will save lots of finances that can be used for capital investments.
- Creation of defence industry clusters
As more orders will be received, domestic cluster manufacturing will start growing. These will in turn focus on R&D and create a strong and competitive economy.
- Employment generation
Defence manufacturing has lots of potential to become employment generator similar to the IT industry. It will play a major role in poverty alleviation and GDP growth.
- Foreign revenue
As defence industries grow and their business expands, they can supply equipment to foreign clients. This will generate revenue in foreign currency and keep economy in sound health.
Thus, negative defence import list is a temporary measure that will start process of domestic defence manufacturing and in future it can pose challenge to other countries too.