India’s arms imports have decreased by over 33 per cent between 2011–15 and 2016–20, the latest ‘Trends in International Arms Transfers’ report released on March 15 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated. According to the report, India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46 per cent. At the same time, Russia’s arms exports to India also came down by 53 per cent.
In the last few years, India with the pledge of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ has taken a series of measures to boost domestic defence industry with an aim to reduce dependence on imported military platforms and hardware, Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in a statement on February 5,2021 had announced at the Aero India 2021’s Bandhan – partnership signing ceremony that India planned to bring down defence imports by $2 billion by the end of 2022. He had said, the idea of cutting down on imports is to encourage domestic manufacture of defence related items.
Between 2016 and 2019, 138 proposals worth over $37 billion have been approved for domestic manufacturing and they will pay off now in lower imports.