The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has restricted the import of foreign drones, according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), in order to encourage “Made-in-India” drones. The adjustment will take effect on February 9th, according to the government.
The government will make exceptions to this restriction, such as allowing drone imports for research and development, defense, and security objectives, but only with proper approvals.
Furthermore, drone component imports will be ‘free.’ The import of drone components, according to the government, will not require any authorization.
“With the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021 (notified on 25th Aug 21), drone airspace map (24th Sep 21), drone PLI scheme (30th Sep 21), UTM policy framework (24th Oct 21), drone certification scheme (26th Jan 22) and single window DigitalSky Platform (26th Jan 22) in place, this is a good time to invest in the Indian drone industry,” the ministry tweeted.
This news coincides with the government’s efforts to promote the drone industry. Multiple ministries, including home affairs, health, defense, information, and broadcasting, have recently been instructed by MoCA to encourage and promote the use of drones. This happened after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman referred to “drones” as a “sunrise sector” in her Budget 2022 speech.
She also discussed how ‘Drone Shakti’ is being facilitated through various applications, Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS), and ‘Kisan Drones’ for crop evaluation, digitization of land records, insecticide spraying, and nutrient spraying.