Addressing a press briefing on the fourth phase of the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' package on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a series of key measures to give a push to 'Make in India' in the Defence sector. The Finance Minister announced that there will be a list of notified weaponry/platforms which will be banned from import enhancing Indian platforms for production and manufacture. The notified list will be revised yearly. Sitharaman also announced a separate budget for domestic capital procurement which will, in turn, reduce the bill of Defence import.
Sitharaman also announced that there will be indigenisation of imported spares in the country. In order to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies, there will be Corporatisation of ordnance factory boards, Sitharaman added. The Finance Minister also placed a clear distinction between corporatisation and privatization, as she emphasised that corporatisation will result in better management and production. The ordnance factories will also be listed on the stock market and ordinary citizens can buy shares.
Furthermore, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in Defence manufacture will be increased from the present 49% to 74%.
Apart from the Defence sector, the Finance Minister announced structural reforms in seven other sectors in the fourth tranche of its economic package amid Coronavirus lockdown. The reforms introduced affect 8 sectors namely - Coal, minerals, civil aviation (Airports, Airspace Mgmt & MRO), power distribution in UTs, Space and atomic energy. The steps include Commercial mining in the coal sector, Seamless exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime in the mineral sector, overhauling of Airspace management, making India an MRO hub and auctioning of airports.