De­fence budget hiked by 10 per cent

SP's MAI - - SPOTLIGHT -

T he Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter P. Chi­dambaram has an­nounced that the de­fence budget for 2014-15 had been hiked from ` 2,03,672 crore to ` 2,24,000 crore, a 10 per cent in­crease over last fis­cal’s out­lay. The cap­i­tal out­lay has been in­creased from ` 86,740 crore to ` 89,587 crore in the in­terim budget for 2014-15, a hike of barely 3.2 per cent.

The mea­gre in­crease in cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture, ex­perts state, could hit the mod­erni­sa­tion plans of the armed forces. In the last fis­cal, over ` 7,200 crore had to be di­verted to rev­enue ex­pen­di­ture which re­sulted in de­lays in equip­ment ac­qui­si­tions.

The low hike in cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture could de­rail some key mod­erni­sa­tion plans, at a time when the mil­i­tary is plan­ning to scale up its ca­pa­bil­i­ties with new fighter planes, sub­marines, ar­tillery guns and land-based strike for­ma­tions. China’s of­fi­cial, but

One rank, one pen­sion

The Cen­tral Govern­ment also an­nounced that it has ac­cepted the ‘one rank, one pen­sion’ pol­icy, for which “`500 crore will be trans­ferred in 2014-15 for im­ple­ment­ing the one rank one pen­sion de­ci­sion.”

Un­der the ‘one rank, one pen­sion’ rule, re­tired soldiers of the same rank and length of ser­vice will re­ceive the same pen­sion, re­gard­less of when they re­tire. Cur­rently, pen­sion­ers who re­tired be­fore 2006 re­ceive less pen­sion than their coun­ter­parts, even their ju­niors. un­der­re­ported, de­fence budget for 2013-14 stands at ` 5,94,000 crore.

In­dia is years be­hind the Chi­nese mil­i­tary with the neigh­bour cur­rently out­num­ber­ing the coun­try’s com­bat power by a 3:1 ra­tio. In­dia’s hopes to bridge the gap in the next 15 years hinge on avail­abil­ity of funds.

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