In an effort to give a boost to the local industry, the armed forces will completely ban the import of winter clothing if the Indian textile industry is able to come up with top class products, Chief of Defence Staff(CDS)General Bipin Rawat said here on Wednesday.
Soldiers deployed in places like Siachen glacier, Ladakh and many such places in Arunachal Pradesh are provided with specialised winter clothing to withstand extreme cold and vagaries of weather.
Urging the Indian industry to innovate and manufacture such clothing, Rawat said “we are looking at the kind of clothing that can sustain our soldiers in the kind of extreme cold climate (near northern borders of Ladakh) and in the hot, dry and humid climate in the deserts and the north-eastern regions where we have the jungle and semi-mountainous terrain.”
Making this point at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry(FICCI), he said as of now, a large amount of clothing for the armed forces is imported. However, in the past one or two years, there has been a lot of innovation by the Indian industry as far as high altitude clothing is concerned, the CDS said.
Highlighting some steps, he said the armed forces have now started placing orders for such clothing to the local industry. “And if we find that this thing can take off and support us, we will not hesitate in putting the entire clothing or the entire ‘techno clothing’ that we are using in the armed forces on the positive indigenisation list, which we were earlier calling the negative list for imports,” Rawat said. “This means we will completely ban the import of these items and make sure that the defence services have to depend only on the Indian industry as part of our Atmanirbhar Bharat support that we wish to give to the industry,” he added.
Techno clothing is special clothing that is developed by incorporating new technology to make it usable in special circumstances and places such as extremely cold areas, biomedical equipment and aircraft.
The Government in August last year announced a ‘negative list for imports’ that restricted purchase of 101 defence items such as light combat helicopters, transport aircraft, conventional submarines and cruise missiles from foreign entities.