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SOURCE: THE HINDU

In the backdrop of stiff opposition by employees of defence production units to the Centre’s move for corporatisation of ordnance factories, the Defence Ministry has unveiled a list of 101 weapons/platforms for indigenisation with specific timelines.

To a question raised by Rajya Sabha MP N. Siva in Parliament on Monday seeking information on the Defence Ministry’s decision to restrict import under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, said 101 defence weapons/platforms had been listed to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

The Centre had also specified year-wise timelines with objectives of self-reliance and exports and to transform India as one of the top countries in the world in defence and aerospace sectors. There were 67 defence weapons/platforms in the list, which would be manufactured only within the country with effect from December 2020; 12 items with effect from December 2021; four with effect from December 2022; eight with effect from December 2023; eight with effect from December 2024; and two with effect from December 2025.

The Union Minister also said the import embargo entailed increased participation of Indian defence industries, both public and private sectors, in response to Mr. Siva’s query on whether the 101 items would be manufactured by defence ordnance factories or by other private manufacturers.

Ordnance factories have been promised that they will have a substantial stake in the defence industrial corridor projects in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The information provided in Parliament also provides clarity to prospective private investors in the proposed Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor Project under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India).

On their part, private industries already involved in production of components for defence weapons are looking for early fructification of the defence corridor project. The general opinion among the industry sector here is that Uttar Pradesh has taken a lead in giving an impetus to the defence industrial corridor project.

Meanwhile, representatives of All India Defence Employees Federation and Indian National Defence Workers Federation Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh had discussions with the officiating Chief Labour Commissioner, Ordnance Factory Board, and representatives of Ministry of Defence on Tuesday to discuss the federations’ indefinite strike opposing corporatisation planned from October 12.