Indian military is increasing its efforts to source the clothing and equipment from Indian factories.
General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, recently visited a garment factory in Bengaluru, which could potentially supply sleeping bags, camouflage tents and jackets to the military.
During his visit, the CDC was told that the requirements of the military were such that Indian manufacturers found it difficult to compete with foreign companies.
As per a report of The Hindustan Times, the visit came as the Ministry of Defence recently notified the second negative import list of 108 items that can now be purchased only from indigenous sources.
The latest guidelines will be implemented in a phased manner, with restrictions on 49 of the 108 items coming into effect from December 2021.
21 items will be placed in the list in December 2022, 17 in December 2023, 13 in December 2024 and a further eight items in December 2025.
Currently gloves for Siachen front are imported from a company in Myanmar, whereas sleeping bags for the glacier are manufactured in Sri Lanka. While a Kanpur-based company is supplying military boots to Israeli army, the Indian army is getting specialised boots made in Italy.
It is pertinent to mention here that earlier in an event of FICCI, CDS had assured that military will stop import of clothing if India gets innovative.
As per a senior defence ministry official even though military clothing budget would be between Rs. 200 and Rs. 400 crore for the Indian military, there is no reason for them to seek foreign manufacturers when the same quality is available with Indian textile manufacturers. Or, there is always an option of asking the company to set shop in India under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.