India Tightens Defense Equipment Oversight Amid Concerns of Unauthorized Use

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India Tightens Defense Equipment Oversight Amid Concerns of Unauthorized Use

India Tightens Oversight of Defense Equipment Manufacturing and Exports

The Indian Ministry of Defence is stepping up its oversight of defense equipment manufacturing and emphasizing strict adherence to end-user certification rules for exports. This move comes in response to reports of defense equipment ending up in unauthorized hands.

The increased oversight aligns with global trends driven by conflicts like the Ukraine-Russia crisis, where weapons have appeared on both sides without proper authorization from the originating country.

Surge in Defense Production and Exports

India's defense sector has witnessed a significant surge in arms and weapons production in recent years, catering to both domestic use and international export. In the financial year 2022-23, India's annual defense production by value surged to Rs 1.09 trillion. The private sector contributed Rs 21,083 crore, with the remainder coming from public sector entities. Exports also saw a notable rise, reaching Rs 21,083 crore in the financial year 2023-24, with the private sector being the major contributor.

Monitoring Consumption Patterns and End-User Certification

To address concerns about unauthorized use, the ministry plans to establish an internal portal to monitor the consumption patterns of imports by defense companies, focusing on critical items like explosives and primers. The official stressed the importance of careful management of arms exports, urging industry players to ensure that purchasing countries certify they will not transfer the weapons to third parties.

Geopolitical Considerations and Export Restrictions

Due to the current geopolitical scenario, the defense manufacturing industry must have a clear chain of end-users, and governments of countries purchasing arms must declare that they will not send the exports to any other country. While the Indian government encourages arms exports, stringent regulations remain in place for certain nations. Currently, Indian companies are prohibited from exporting weapons to Ukraine, and most companies avoid direct dealings with Russia to evade Western sanctions. Other countries with export restrictions include Turkey, China, and Pakistan.