The defence ministry has instructed Indian manufacturers to certify they are not doing business with Chinese corporations in order to crack down on the covert usage of raw resources from Chinese for bulletproof jackets supplied to the armed forces.

The decision was taken in reaction to a dispute over bulk-purchased bulletproof jackets for the Army that included a high proportion of Chinese components. There is special provision in a new Coast Guard tender that prohibits use of raw materials from Chinese.

In the past, the Indian armed forces’ protective clothing were manufactured with raw resources that have been imported from a tiny proportion of US and European companies. This changed when the vendor offered jackets for selection trials that were made with raw materials sourced from western regions in Europe and the US but changed suppliers after winning the contract.

Leading organizations urged the government to adopt a strategy to reduce dependency on Chinese materials in June 2020, saying that a significant amount of foreign exchange was just being diverted to Chinese firms for the import of raw materials for protective equipment. The industry is attempting to manufacture these materials locally.