To minimise imports by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the third Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) of 780 strategically important sub-systems and components, which will be strictly procured from the domestic industry with a timeline beginning from December 2023 to December 2028.

Through previous two PILs, published in December of 2021 and March this year, 2,500 items have already been indigenised and another 458 items will be done within the given timelines, said the Defence Ministry in a statement on Sunday.

The Ministry stated that the indigenisation of these items will be taken up through different routes under ‘Make’ category, which aims to achieve self-reliance by involving greater participation of the Indian industry. Projects involving design and development of equipment, systems, major platforms or upgrades thereof by the industry can be taken up under this category.

The third PIL incorporates wide variety of components and sub-systems of equipment and different platforms, including Arjun tanks, Advanced Light Helicopters, Light Combat Helicopters, Jaguars and Sukhois.

The DPSUs, outlined the Ministry, will soon float Expression of Interests (EoIs) and Request for Proposals (RFPs) expecting the industry to participate in large number.

The government is rooting for self-reliance in defence sector also to export products to countries in Africa, West Asia, Latin America and Asian sub-continent. Last month, Additional Secretary (Defence Production) Sanjay Jaju stated the export figure for defence items and technologies touched a record high of Rs 13,000 crores in the financial year of 2020-21. Of that, 70 percent was contributed by private indigenous companies and remaining by the DPSUs. But the government’s export target is $5 billion, which is part of a goal the Defence Ministry has set to have a total turnover of $25 billion (₹1.75-lakh crore) in defence manufacturing over the next five years.

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