HomeIndian DefenceIndian defence sector: Defence Ministry tightens weapons monitoring

Indian defence sector: Defence Ministry tightens weapons monitoring

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The defence ministry is tightening the monitoring of defence equipment being manufactured in India and has asked the industry to strictly follow end-user certification rules when it comes to exports, after some reports of equipment going into the “wrong hands” have come up.

The Indian defence sector has seen a sharp increase in production of arms and weapons for both internal use and export orders in the past few years. Weapons manufacturing is on the rise throughout the world, given the Ukraine-Russia crisis, and multiple reports have emerged of weapons landing up on either side of the conflict without proper authorisation by the country of origin.

The ministry is now looking to set up an internal portal that will monitor consumption patterns of imports being done by defence sector companies, particularly when it comes to explosives and primers.

“We are looking at an internal portal so that when things are imported, we can also monitor them because these should not go into the wrong hands. There are instances we have come across where reports are there that it has gone into the wrong hands,” a senior defence ministry official told industry representatives. He did not specify details of the reported lapses.

Annual defence production by value zoomed to ₹1,08,684 crore in financial year 2022-23, with private companies’ share valued at ₹21,083 crore and the rest coming from public sector entities. Exports have also risen to ₹21,083 crore in financial year 2023-24, with private sector companies contributing the significant majority.

The official also cautioned the industry to be careful when it comes to export of weapons and to ensure that the country which is purchasing lethal arms certifies that it will not send them to a third party.”Particularly due to the present geo-political scenario, you (industry) need to come up with the entire chain of end-users and the government of that particular country must mention that they will not send it to any other country,” he said.While arms exports are being encouraged by the government, strict rules and regulations still apply when it comes to exports to particular nations. For example, at present, Indian companies are not granted permissions to export weapons to Ukraine, while most companies refrain from directly dealing with Russia due to the fear of western sanctions. Other countries where exports are restricted include Turkey, besides China and Pakistan.

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