India’s Plans to Modernize Armed Forces Will Get Affected Due to Insufficient Allocation to Defence by Government
On Thursday, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced to allocate Rs. 2.95 lakh crore for defence. The amount is broken down in this way – Rs 1,95,947 crore has been allocated for revenue expenditure. This will include payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments. Hence, it could be concluded that the bulk of funds allotted to the defence sector will be used for day-to-day functioning of the armed forces.
Rest, Rs 99,563 crore has been allotted for the capital expenditure. This amount will be used and spent on modernisation of the armed forces and for new purchases. We all know that the Indian military’s combat effectiveness is not in a good shape, as obsolete and ageing armaments are still in use. The army is in dire need of combat vehicles, battle tanks as well as modern guns and ammunition.
It is understood that if the air force requires latest fighter jets, the navy needs to acquire latest warships and nuclear submarines. However, because of low allocation of amount on capital expenditures, these mega defence acquisition plans will be severely hampered. Astonishingly, the amount for military modernisation is even less than the Rs 1,08,853 crore that has been allocated separately for defence pensions, which does not form part of the defence budget.