Need to ensure that export control regime of dual-use items not an impediment but aligned to India’s global commitments: DG, Directorate General of Foreign Trade

New Delhi: Mr Amit Yadav, DG, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Govt of India today said that the DGFT has been working along with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ensure that the dual-use items and their export control regime does not become an impediment but at the same time is aligned with India’s commitment on various agreements.

 

Addressing the National Conference on Export Control 2021 organised by FICCI, jointly with the DGFT and D&ISA Division – Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Mr Yadav said they have had various interactions with the industry to ensure that India not only retains its membership of the export control regime but also brings in a credible export control system so that our goods and technologies, both get integrated into global supply chains.

 

“We have observed large number of licences being issued by the Govt. for the dual use items. We have not only continuously updated the policy but have also ensured that the policy is liberalised, and that the re-validation of licenses are issued centrally,” he said.

 

Based on the feedback, we have taken simplification and facilitation measures, but this is an ongoing process. We need to maintain balance between facilitation and compliance. The process is being continuously streamlined. We are trying to make the licensing process as transparent as possible and with the expedited licensing clearances, the industry should be in a better position than earlier, Mr Yadav added.

 

Further, the DG said that there is a need for continuous training both at the official level and on the industry’s part. The rules and regulations for the guidelines will continue to be simplified. Education, skilling, and continuous dialogue are the three mantras to ensure to further improve the export control system and industry compliance.

 

Speaking at the event, Mr Anurag Bajpai, Joint Secretary (DIP), DDP, Ministry of Defence said that the Department of Defence Production understands that exports can be promoted not only by regulatory reforms but also by developing the entire ecosystem.

 

“The Defence Acquisition Procedure has already been modified and is in place; the MAKE procedure has been simplified; Government has enhanced FDI limit so that more manufacturing can take place within the country,” he noted.

 

Mr Bajpai also mentioned ‘Srijan’, the portal that lists more than 9,000 items that can be manufactured by the Indian industry.

 

“I am calling upon all industries including DPSUs to manufacture these items here itself. India can grow as an exporting economy for parts, components and systems & sub-systems,” he added.

 

We have also brought reforms through self-certification and green channel schemes to maintain quality. The industry has been given the liberty that if they follow the standard norms, they can self-certify and export and market their items wherever they want, he said.

 

We have brought a change in our standard of bidding procedures, particularly regarding export authorization. The MoD has done an agreement on cooperation on joint manufacturing of spares, components, etc., with Russia and the Department is further considering such kind of IGAs with other countries as well, he added.

 

Mr Sandeep Arya, Joint Secretary (D&ISA), Ministry of External Affairs, said that the export controls are aimed to regulate sensitive dual-use material, equipment, technology, or software for security considerations that contribute to the production or delivery of nuclear, chemical, biological agents or conventional arms.

 

“These export controls are non-proliferation driven and they are required of India because of our participation in different global treaties, vis-?-vis, biological weapons conventions, chemical weapons conventions, etc., as well as because of India’s participation in various multilateral export control regimes, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, among others. These are also a kind of a demonstration of India as a responsible member country to the international community,” Mr Arya said.

 

I would like to thank the joint efforts of the government and the industry because that contributes to India maintaining an impeccable non-proliferation record, which we seek to maintain as a part of a partnership with the industry, he added.

 

One of the objectives of our export control is the national security objective with the aim of preventing access of sensitive goods emerging from India to our adversaries and to non-state actors who seek to proliferate them to undesirable recipients of such goods. These export controls also meet the interest of our foreign relations by strengthening confidence and trust of various countries, he said.

 

Further, Mr Arya added that most importantly, our export controls strengthen India’s economic growth objective. By improving India’s access to these controlled material, equipment, and technology, it builds confidence among these countries and their businesses for the purpose of enhancing in investments into India and technological collaborations with Indian industry.

 

Mr Ashish Kansal, Executive Director, SMPP Pvt Ltd said that the government has always reiterated its commitment to the vision of transforming India into a defence net exporter where export controls play a vital role. “As a follow up to the Atmanirbhar policy of the government, DPEPP 2020 has been formulated as a very elaborate with well-placed and elaborate goals through a complete metamorphosis of the existing way of functioning. Defence exports are a testament to the nation’s technological prowess and proficiency of its industry they are also valuable exchange or nurse and key tools for geopolitical engagements,” he said.

 

Mr Ravi Kataria, Chief Executive, L&T-MBDA Missile Systems Ltd shared his views on Export Controls as an enabler for Make in India. Further, he said that the time taken to issue export licences has seen a drastic reduction which is a welcome procedural change.

 

Mr Sudhakar Gande, Co-Chairman, FICCI Defence Committee; CEO-Jupiter Capital Pvt Ltd; Non-Executive Director – AXISCADES Engineering Technologies Ltd delivered the vote of thanks and said that in the past few years, the Government of India have streamlined the export control process while ensuring India continues to meet its international responsibilities relating to strategic trade control (STC). The time for receiving export license has reduced considerably and the process has now become online.