Imports of Drones Banned With Immediate Effect To Boost Indigenous Manufacturing

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Import of drone components will not require any approvals

In a bid to boost the domestic manufacturing of drones and support the sector, the Centre has put a ban on the import of drones with immediate effect. Exceptions, however, have been made for research and development, defence and security purposes.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry notified the Indian Trade Classification (Harmonised System), 2022 effecting the prohibition of drones for import.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said that while exceptions were provided for R&D, defence and security, importing drones for these purposes will require “due clearances”. Import of drone components will not require any approvals.

The development comes days after the Union budget proposed the Drone Shakti scheme to facilitate the application and use of ‘drones as service’ in the country. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said startups would be promoted to facilitate Drone Shakti through varied applications, with the required skill courses beginning soon.

Indian drone makers have welcomed this move.

Last year, the government also approved a Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and their components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore for three financial years.

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