India to halt imports of 101 defence items - minister

A separate budget of nearly $7bln has been created for domestic capital procurement this fiscal year.

  
An Indian Air Force personnel arranges ammunitions in front of MIG-21 fighter plane at DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, India, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/ Pawan Kumar

An Indian Air Force personnel arranges ammunitions in front of MIG-21 fighter plane at DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, India, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/ Pawan Kumar

MUMBAI - India will hold off on importing 101 items of military equipment in an effort to boost domestic defence production, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.

Singh said a separate budget of nearly 520 billion rupees ($7 billion) has been created for domestic capital procurement this fiscal year.

"The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024," Singh wrote in a series of tweets.

"Our aim is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation." ($1 = 75.0120 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by William Mallard) ((swati.bhat@thomsonreuters.com; twitter.com/swatibhat22; +91-22-68414381; Reuters Messaging: swati.bhat.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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