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Defence Ministry earmarks Rs 17,500 crore for private sector purchases this year

The defence ministry has reserved over Rs 17,500 crore this year for procurement from the private industry, as a part of its measures to boost domestic manufacturing and create the local ecosystem. 

The ministry, under instructions of defence minister Rajnath Singh, has also resolved to reduce procurement time to two years to avoid delays in induction of weapon systems and may expand the import negative list further to bring more equipment into the domestic cache, a top official said. 

While in the past it would take over five years to complete a procurement, this has been brought down to an average of three-and-a-half years, and the target now is to further shorten it to two years, defence secretary Ajay Kumar said. 

“This year a decision has been taken to ensure that what we buy from India is not merely from the public sector. Nearly 25% of the total domestic procurement will be from the private industry,” Kumar said at a Special Centre for National Security Studies (SCNSS) event. 

The ministry had earlier this week notified a negative import list that included helicopters, warships, and loitering munitions. Singh had in August last year approved a negative list of 101 items. The ministry also has a clear focus on exports and encouraging the startup ecosystem, the official said. 

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