The follow-up to the first negative list (Defence Policy) that was released by the Defence Ministry will soon be released. Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary, Defence Production, said that the release of the second negative import list, now renamed the positive list, had been delayed by the on-going pandemic but will soon be announced by the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
Speaking at a webinar on ‘defence testing and certification for speedy procurement’, Mr Jaju also revealed that the final version of the Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020 will also be out very soon.
If one may recall, the draft DPEPP was made public last August for general feedback. The DPEPP was created with the sole aim of boosting the nation’s defence production capabilities, which is in line with the Centre’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. When it comes into effect, DPEPP will enhance India’s domestic defence manufacturing and promote exports.
The negative import list was drawn up as a complement to the DPEPP. Any item of the list would not be considered for import and the responsibility for delivering a suitable substitute would be handed to domestic manufacturers. This was done to develop a dynamic and robust Defence industry, capable of producing state-of-the-art weapon platforms for the Armed Forces.
The first negative import list consisted of 101 weapons, platforms and equipment. The items on the list included a mix of simple as well as complex technology weapon systems like assault rifles, sonar and radar systems and artillery platforms.
The task has been assigned to the Department of Military Affairs under General Bipin Rawat and if sources are to be believed, larger weapon systems like tanks and aircrafts may also be included in the upcoming second list.
Additionally, the role of the private sector in defence manufacturing, the testing facilities of both DPSUS and DRDO will be opened to them. New facilities will also be set up under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS).
Commenting on the proposed DTIS facilities, Mr Jaju said, “Under DTIS, testing infrastructure is planned to be set up through public private partnership mode…” and also touched upon measures like self-certification and simulations which will simplify testing and certification procedures.
According to the Directorate General of Quality Assurance, plans for six to eight facilities to be operated by the DTIS and private sector are on the cards, along with a Grant-in-Aid of Rs 400 crore.