16 May 2020
New Delhi: In a big-bang reform measure, the Union government has decided to raise the limit for foreign direct investment (FDI) for defence manufacturing from 49 to 74 per cent under the automatic route.
Speaking to the media here, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision-making will take place under the new policy.
The government will set up a project management unit to support contract management. Further, realistic setting of general staff qualitative requirements of weapons or platforms will be taken up.
Under the new regime, the government will also overhaul the trial and testing procedures.
In a bid to enhance self-reliance in defence production, the government will notify a list of weapons and platforms for a ban on import with year-wise timelines. Indigenisation of imported spares will also be taken up.
Further, the government will take up separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement. All these measures, according to the government will help reduce India's huge defence import bill.
The government has also decided to corporatize Ordnance Factory Board to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies.
The mega reform announcements are part of the Rs 20 lakh-crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.