Prime Minister Narendra Modi on an Arjun Tank of the Indian Army. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on an Arjun Tank of the Indian Army. 
News Brief

India’s Arms Imports Decrease By 33 Per Cent Amid Make-In-India Push

BySwarajya Staff

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 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says.

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.

Russia’s arms exports to the world dropped by 22 per cent. The report says that 90 per cent of this decrease is attributable to the fall in exports to India.

The report says that India’s arms imports have come down due to, among other things, a push to reduce dependence on other countries.

“India’s arms imports from France increased by 709 per cent while those from Israel rose by 82 per cent,” the report adds.

The SIPRI report also says that India accounted for 0.2 per cent of the share of global arms exports between 2016 and 2020.

This made India the 24th largest exporter of arms in the world with a jump of 228 per cent over its export share of 0.1 per cent in the 2011-15 period. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius received most of India’s arms exports.

Over the last five years, the Narendra Modi government has pushed Make-In-India, an initiative to promote manufacturing in India, including that of modern arms that the Army, Navy and the Air Force need to deter India’s adversaries.

The government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat plan is aimed at increasing the designing, development and manufacturing of weapons in the country.

In February, addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of provision in the 2021-22 Budget in defence sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reassured Indian arms manufacturers that the government will not go to foreign defence equipment manufacturers for platforms that can be made in India.

The Prime Minister said that the creation of a potent defence manufacturing ecosystem in the country is not possible without robust participation of the private sector. He added that the negative list on defence imports offers the sector an opportunity to increase its manufacturing capacity.

India has also set an ambitious target of increasing its defence exports to $5 billion over the next five years, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said recently.