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