The regulatory framework for civil and commercial operations of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) needs to be put in place early in line with global best practices, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday.
He also called for incentivising budding entrepreneurs to encourage them to provide UAS services and suggested that they could be given tax break.
"The primary beneficiaries of UAS would be agriculture, fishery, forest and irrigation sectors. UAS services by startups must be encouraged through incentives, benefits and tax breaks...for the benefit of these sectors," he said.
He was speaking at an event on Make in India for UAS and promoting UAS industry in the country.
Kant said the UAS industry has the potential to rapidly modernise India and promote growth of different sectors, and a regulatory framework needs to be put in place for UAS services.
"Regulatory framework for opening UAS operations for civil and commercial services needs to be promulgated early in line with the global best practices," he suggested.
"They do piecemeal imports to meet the individual service demands, which to my mind must be discontinued for indigenous UAS industry to grow," he added.
He said demand aggregation for UAS would help attract investments.
Indian market for UAS is of the order of about USD 50 billion over the next 15 years, he said adding India must realise the full potential of this technology and leverage it to best advantage as a powerful tool to promote security, safety and good governance.
India should aspire to be the global hub for design, development and manufacture of the engines and aero-structures for all types of UAS, Kant said.