Fi­nance Min­istry Hints at In­creas­ing In­dia s De­fence Bud­get to Bol­ster De­fences

India Strategic - - INDUSTRY -

NEW DELHI. Fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jaitley said Septem­ber 27 that the se­cu­rity chal­lenge that the na­tion faces will get pri­or­ity in re­source al­lo­ca­tion over all re­quire­ments as sovereignty of the coun­try is 'most im­por­tant'. "In In­dia, in ad­di­tion to all the global events which leave an im­pact on us, we also have the se­cu­rity chal­lenge. The se­cu­rity chal­lenge in­volves an el­e­ment of un­cer­tainty. It also in­volves a lot of na­tional re­sources be­ing di­verted in that di­rec­tion and it will al­ways get top pri­or­ity," Jaitley told a State Bank of In­dia bank­ing con­fer­ence.

The fi­nance min­is­ter's com­ments come against the back­drop of the Uri at­tacks. The Naren­dra Modi govern­ment is weigh­ing options on its re­sponse to the at­tack by Pak­istan-based ter­ror­ist in Uri in which 18 sol­diers were killed.

The FM's ref­er­ence to de­fence al­lo­ca­tion comes in a year where funds for the cru­cial sec­tor have stag­nated way be­low 2 per cent of the GDP. While os­ten­si­bly the de­fence bud­get for the FY 201617 was in­creased by 9.76 per cent over the pre­vi­ous year to Rs 2.58 lakh crore, no­tably, mil­i­tary pen­sion also soared to Rs 82,000 crore due to OROP (One Rank One Pen­sion) leav­ing lit­tle for the Forces’ mod­erni­sa­tion schemes.

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