The Union Home Ministry has liberalised Arms Rules to encourage investments in manufacture of arms, ammunition and weapons systems.
The rules were liberalised with aim of making India a regional leader in supplying small arms to neighbouring countries as well as become an export hub.
Under the new rules, licence granted for manufacturing will be valid for life-time of licensee company. It does away with requirement of renewal every five years. Now, manufactures will now be able to continue manufacturing on their old licence.
Similarly, condition that small arms and light weapons produced by manufacturer should be sold to Central government or State governments with prior approval of Home Ministry also has been dispensed with. Now, enhancement of capacity up to 15% will also not require any approval of government. Moreover, the licence fee also has been reduced and rules in connection have also been liberalised.
The liberalised rules will apply to licences granted by Home Ministry for small arms and ammunition and those granted by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for other defence equipment. The liberalised rules will give boost to Centre’s ‘Make in India’ manufacturing policy and promote employment generation in this field. It will facilitate availability of world-class weapons to meet requirements of armed forces and police forces in sync with country’s defence indigenisation programme.