Armed Forces seek $416 bil­lion for de­fence projects

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & in India -

In­dia’s Min­istry of De­fence have re­port­edly sought an al­lo­ca­tion of Rs 26. 84 lakh crore ($416 bil­lion) over the next five years for mil­i­tary modernisation of the de­fence forces in face of col­lu­sive threats from Pak­istan and China as well as to safe­guard In­dia’s ex­pand­ing geo strate­gic in­ter­ests. Ac­cord­ing to the de­fence min­istry, the 13th con­sol­i­dated de­fence five year plan for 2017-2022 was pre­sented at the Uni­fied Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence on 10-11 July.

De­fence Min­is­ter Arun Jaitley, who ad­dressed the con­fer­ence, as­sured the armed forces that cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture for modernisation projects will be “a pri­or­ity area” with re­source avail­abil­ity in­creas­ing within the Indian econ­omy. But it is also true that the ac­tual an­nual de­fence bud­gets have shown a dis­cernible trend of de­clin­ing de­fence bud­gets, un­spent funds and a skewed rev­enue to cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture ra­tio, which have meant that the Army, Navy and IAF con­tinue to grap­ple with crit­i­cal op­er­a­tional gaps on sev­eral fronts. With an eye firmly on China, there is also a separate sec­tion in the plan on “ca­pa­bil­ity de­vel­op­ment” of the strate­gi­cally-lo­cated tri-Ser­vice An­daman and Ni­co­bar Com­mand, which was set up in Oc­to­ber 2001 but has suf­fered from rel­a­tive ne­glect and lack of in­fras­truc­ture.

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