India is planning to ease restrictions on foreign weapons suppliers in a bid to speed up the purchase process.

India currently operates a policy stipulating any purchase from a foreign supplier in excess of US$70m requires a re-investment of 30 percent of the total amount in India – usually in the form of local components and services.

Deals with international firms worth more than US$1bn require 50 percent to be ploughed back into the economy.

Defence production secretary Pradeep Kumar says a new policy will be announced in April.

“We are getting some feedback that there are some difficulties, and it is in our interest to make it easier for companies to fulfil their obligations,” he says.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh