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COVID-19 propels reforms in Indian defence production

20th May 2020 - 00:00 GMT | by Neelam Mathews in Delhi


Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced more measures to boost self-sufficiency in defence production, among them raising from 49% to 74% the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in defence manufacturing under the automatic route. 

Sitharaman confirmed there would be no more imports of weapons already being produced in India. She said: ‘A list of weapons/platforms will be banned from being imported. Indigenisation of imported spares, and a separate budget provision for domestic capital procurement, will help reduce the huge defence import bill.’

India is the world’s second largest arms importer after Saudi Arabia, according to data for 2019 from

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Neelam Mathews


Neelam Mathews

Neelam Mathews was born in India and completed her education in London.

She has written for …

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