India’s Parliamentary body wants more funds for military modernisation

IDD Bureau

A designated committee of Parliament in India, has asked for ‘adequate’ funding enabling greater acquisition of military equipment and modernization.

The committee has found how budgetary allocation for armed forces was 35 percent lower – or $ 8.72 billion lesser– than what the projected needs were.

A Standing Committee of Parliament having members read list of members of all major political parties — India has multi-party system of Parliamentary democracy — submitted a report to the Indian Parliament on March 13 read it here.  The report called the ‘demands for grants…’  pointed out to the allocations made for the financial year 2020-21, commencing April 1, 2020.   The Indian budget year, or the financial year, starts April 1 and ends March 31, the next year.

The budget was presented in Indian parliament on February 1, 2020.

The report said the Defence Ministry allocated Rs 1,13,734 crore (approx $ 16 billion) in the Capital budget against the projection of Rs 1,75,702 crore (approx $ 24.74 billion). This, the report said, amounts to the shortage of Rs 61,968 crore (approx $ 8.72 billion).

“Requisite allocation is very essential to develop, and acquire modern state-of-the art fighting platforms, which can match Northern ( China) and Western ( Pakistan) neighbours”

Report in Indian PARLIAMENT

Committee wants more money allocated

The report says  the Committee, headed by Jual Oram, a senior member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, recommends requisite funds under the Capital Head be allocated to the Ministry at the Supplementary grants stage. Under the Indian budgeting system, supplementary grants, or revised estimates,  allows more funds to be allocated around September- October.

 “Shortage in the allocation of the budget in the Capital Head, which is 35 per cent less than the projection ( of $ 24.74 billion), would affect acquisition of latest weaponry, aircraft, ships, tanks and capital intensive projects including land, building and other infrastructure”.

Report in Indian Parliament

The Committee opined that such situation is not conducive for preparation of country to modern day warfare, where possession of capital intensive modern machines are pre- requisite for not only tilting the result of war in our favour but also having a credible deterrence capabilities.

What is Capital head.

‘Capital head’ is the budgetary provision India makes for new equipment, weapons, systems, platforms, creation of new  military-related  infrastructure. The outlay provides allocation for land and construction works of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. In other words, it caters for the expenditure incurred on durable assets of  Army, Navy, Air Force, Joint Staff, Defence Ordnance Factories, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Director General Quality Assurance(DGQA), National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Defence Academy etc.

Focus on Indo-Pacific; wants more for Navy

The report has its eyes firmly on the need to expand the Navy as India aims to be a lead regional player in South -East Asia and an important one in the Indo-Pacific. The committee observes that Navy’s fighting capabilities depends on the high value platforms like Aircraft Carrier, Submarines, destroyers and frigates  but the allocation of Capital Budget for Navy in percentage terms saw the sharpest decline in the past five years

Under construction INS Vikrant

In case of Navy, the difference between projected needs and allocation was Rs. 1,264 crore ( $ 170 million) during the financial in 2014-15. This was a mere 5 percent shortfall. In the year 2020-21 the shortfall will  be Rs 18,580 crore ( approx $ 2.61 billion)  and this is 41 per cent shortfall over the demanded projected needs for Rs 45,268 crore ( $ 6.37 biillion)

“Recommend the Ministry not to make any cut while allocating budget for capital head for any of the services in the coming years.”

report in Indian Parliament

Army and Air Force to face major shortages

Projections for funds and allocations with respect of three armed forces show that that since 2015-16, none of the three Services have been given the matching allocation as per their projections.

In case  of the Army, during the year 2015-16,the gap between projected needs and allocation  was Rs 4,596 crore ( approx $ 640  million). It  increased to Rs 17,911 crore (approx $ 2.52 billion) in 2020-21. In other words the gap grew from 14 per cent to 36 per cent.

A new upgraded Sharang gun of the Indian Army

In case of the Air Force, during the year 2015-16, the gap between projected needs and allocation  was Rs. 12,505  crore ( approx $ 1.76 billion). It  increased to Rs 22,925 Crore  (approx $ 3,22 billion)  in  2020-21. In other words  the gap grew from 27 per cent to 35 per cent.

Share on Whatsapp

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular News