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Budget allocation 35 percent less than required: House panel on defence

Indian Defence forces missiles
The capital budget for 2020-21 was 35% less than the requirement projected by the armed forces, a parliamentary panel pointed out.(Bloomberg)

In a report tabled within the Lok Sabha, the Parliamentary committee on Defence acknowledged that insufficient budgetary allocation would affect acquisition of latest weaponry, aircraft, ships and tanks that are required to match the modernisation of the Chinese and Pakistani militaries.

A parliamentary panel on Friday flagged concerns about the India’s military modernisation taking successful due to inadequate funds made available for purchasing new weapons and systems during this year’s budget. The panel acknowledged that the capital allow 2020-21 was 35% but the need projected by the soldiers .

In a report tabled within the Lok Sabha, the Parliamentary committee on Defence acknowledged that insufficient budgetary allocation would affect acquisition of latest weaponry, aircraft, ships and tanks that are required to match the modernisation of the Chinese and Pakistani militaries.

“The committee feel and desire that to develop and acquire the foremost modern state-of-the-art fighting platforms, which may match northern and western neighbours [China and Pakistan], the requisite allocation to the capital head is extremely essential,” the panel said in its report on capital outlay, procurement policy and defence planning.

Last month, the govt put aside Rs 3.37 lakh crore for military spending in its allow 2020-21, a rise of barely 6% over last year’s budget estimates of Rs 3.18 lakh crore.


This year’s budget, which exclude defence pensions, includes Rs 1.13 lakh crore under the capital head for modernisation, which is merely Rs 10,340 crore quite the allocation in last year’s budget estimates. If the defence spending allocated for 2020-21 is calculated against last year’s revised estimates of Rs 3.31 lakh crore, the rise isn't even 2%.

The soldiers are prioritising their purchases to form the simplest use of obtainable resources, two senior officials said on the condition of anonymity.

The panel highlighted how the gap between the need of the soldiers and therefore the money made available has increased over the years.

It said the gap for the military had spiralled from Rs 4,596 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 17,911.22 crore this year (from 14% to 36%).

“In the case of navy, the difference was Rs 1,264.89 crore in 2014-15, which has increased to Rs 18,580 crore in 2020-21 [5% to 41%] and for airforce, the gap which was Rs 12,505.21 crore in 2015-16 has increased to Rs 22,925.38 crore in 2020-21 [27% to 35%],” the report said.

Experts said it had been critical to allocate extra money to the military under the capital head this year.“With the safety challenges that India faces, the potential accretion of three services shouldn't be stymied due lack of funds.

Unfortunately, the allocation during this year’s budget is woefully inadequate and must tend a re-evaluation ,” said Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), additional director general, Centre for aviation Studies.

Last month, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat indicated that he prefers a purchase model that involves buying weapons and systems during a staggered manner in order that the need of the three services are often met within the available budget. The prioritisation of military purchases to be made by the three services comes under Rawat’s purview.

[Source: Hindustan Times]
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