The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has decided to ban the import of foreign drones to boost local manufacturing. The import of drones for research and development and defence and security will be exempt from the ban, but will require clearances. Drone components can be imported and will require no approvals.
The latest Union Budget has proposed the Drone Shakti scheme to promote the use and application of ‘drones as service’ in the country. The government would encourage startups to implement Drone Shakti through various applications, with an upskilling course to be started soon, Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister said.
The Union Budget also encouraged farmers to use drones to spray insecticides and nutrients on farms and conduct crop quality assessments to boost productivity.
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The Government of India launched a Production Linked Incentive Scheme for drones and drones components manufacturing in 2021.
The drones and drone components manufacturing industry is likely to see an investment of over INR 5,000 crore over the next three years. The annual turnover of the drone manufacturing industry is projected to grow from INR 60 crore in 2020-21 to over INR 900 crore by FY 2023-24 and is expected to generate over 10,000 direct jobs over the next three years, according to Ministry of Civil Aviation.