New Delhi: A few days after imposing restrictions on the import of 101 defence items, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that India cannot depend on foreign governments, foreign suppliers and foreign defence products to meet our defence needs.Also Read - Gandhi-Savarkar Row: Don't Think Mahatma Gandhi is Father of Nation, Says Veer Savarkar's Grandson | WATCH
He said that depending on foreign countries is not compatible with the objectives and feelings of a strong and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Also Read - India Successfully Tests 'Akash Prime' Missile, Destroys Aerial Target | Watch
“We cannot depend on foreign governments, foreign suppliers and foreign defence products to meet our defence needs. It is not compatible with the objectives and feelings of a strong and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,” Rajnath Singh said. Also Read - Ease Travel Restrictions: India Urges Australia to Address Difficulties Being Faced by Its Students
Singh said this while attending the ‘Atmanirbhrata Saptah’ celebrations via video conference at South Block in the national capital.
“We should not only be able to ensure the fulfilment of our national interests but also be able to help other people in times of need. Self-reliance in the defence sector is far more crucial than any other field. For the last six days, you have been doing the important work of modernisation of facilities, upgradation of facilities and construction of new infrastructure, continuously moving towards ‘self-reliance’,” Singh said while addressing the participants via video conferencing.
Saying that the security is the first priority for the development of any nation, he said it is known to all that the nations, which are able to protect themselves, they have been able to build their strong image at the global level.
Rajnath also appreciated the efforts of defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to make India self-reliant.
“The impressive list of new indigenous products, which have been launched today, I believe that defence undertakings and OFB will be the prime drivers of the ‘Self-Reliance Campaign’ and will contribute significantly to national security. I am happy to see the recently launched products, of which four products each by OFB and BEML, two by BEL and one each by HAL, BDL, MDL, GRSE and GSL were developed,” he said.
On Sunday, Rajnath Singh announced restrictions on import of 101 weapons and military platforms including artillery guns, assault rifles and transport aircraft.
He said the ministry has prepared a list of 101 items for which the embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 and 2024.
The list of 101 embargoed items comprises some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters (LCHs), radars and many other items.