Rajnath Singh’s ‘import embargo high sounding jargon’: Cong’s Chidambaram takes a jibe

Updated on Aug 09, 2020 12:48 PM IST

The Congress leader’s comments came after defence minister Rajnath Singh said that the government’s step will give a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ or Self-Reliant India Mission.

Congress leader P. Chidambaram.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)
Congress leader P. Chidambaram.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Meenakshi Ray

The defence minister promised a “bang and ended with a whimper”, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Sunday after Rajnath Singh’s announced a ban on the import of 101 items.

The Congress leader’s comments came after defence minister Rajnath Singh said that the government’s step will give a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ or Self-Reliant India Mission.

“The only importer of defence equipment is the Defence Ministry. Any import embargo is really an embargo on oneself. What the Defence Minister said in his historic Sunday announcement deserved only an Office Order from the Minister to his Secretaries!” Chidambaram tweeted.

“Import Embargo is high sounding jargon. What it means is we will try to make the same equipment (that we import today) in 2 to 4 years and stop imports thereafter!” the Congress leader added.

Singh had said while announcing the development on Twitter that it would be a big step towards self-reliance in defence.

Artillery guns, missile destroyers, ship-borne cruise missiles, light combat aircraft, light transport aircraft, long-range land-attack cruise missiles, communication satellites, basic trainer aircraft, multi-barrel rocket launchers, a variety of radars, assault rifles, sniper rifles, mini UAVs and different types of ammunition have been included in the list, Singh had said.

The embargo will kick in for different items between 2020 and 2025, the defence minister had said.

The defence minister said the list of the embargoed items comprises of “not just simple parts but also some high tech weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, LCHs, radars & many other items to fulfil needs of our defence services”.

He also said the list was made after several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, including the armed forces, public and private industry to “assess current and future capabilities of the Indian industry for manufacturing various ammunition & equipment within India”.

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