Fund crunch

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO -

In­dia is among the largest weapons im­porter in the world, ac­cord­ing to think-tank Stock­holm In­ter­na­tional Peace Re­search In­sti­tute (SIPIRI). Be­tween 2013 -17, the coun­try ac­counted for nearly 12% of all global im­ports of arms, SIPRI said in its re­port re­leased last year. The fall­ing ru­pee has only added to the dif­fi­cul­ties im­posed by the funds crunch.

Since April 1 last year, the ru­pee de­pre­ci­ated 9.4% against the US dol­lar.

Cow­shish claimed that this may be the first time in re­cent years that this is hap­pen­ing.

“It is a very dif­fi­cult po­si­tion to be in. Not pro­vid­ing for com­mit­ted li­a­bil­i­ties didn’t hap­pen in the past,” he said. HT couldn’t in­de­pen­dently ver­ify this.

“Im­por­tantly, al­lo­ca­tion of ex­tra funds is un­likely to go up later in the year,” he added.

In­ter­est­ingly, the In­dian Army is yet to get ~1,487 crore that was sanc­tioned for strength­en­ing perime­ter se­cu­rity of en­camp­ments and in­stal­la­tions, such as the one in Uri, in Jammu and Kash­mir and the north-east. This amount was promised af­ter ter­ror­ists stormed the Sun­juwan camp, the base of the 36 Brigade, last Fe­bru­ary. As many as 11 sol­diers and one civil­ian died in the at­tack apart from four ter­ror­ists who stormed the camp.

In­terim bud­get 2018-19 al­lo­cates ~3.05 lakh crore to the forces, ex­clud­ing pen­sions. In­clud­ing pen­sions, the num­ber is ~4.29 lakh crore. Of the to­tal, cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture ac­counts for 24% and pen­sions 26%. less­ness pre­vailed in Ben­gal.

Af­ter Biswas’ cre­ma­tion on Sun­day af­ter­noon, his wife Ru­pali said she was con­fi­dent it was a “po­lit­i­cal mur­der”.

The in­ci­dent comes amid po­lit­i­cal ten­sion in the state, with Tri­namool Con­gress pres­i­dent and West Ben­gal chief min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee re­cently hold­ing a sit-in in Kolkata af­ter block­ing the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion’s at­tempt to ar­rest the city’s po­lice com­mis­sioner, Ra­jeev Ku­mar, in the Saradha chit fund case.

The Supreme Court later said the CBI should not take any “co­er­cive ac­tion” against Ku­mar, but al­lowed his ques­tion­ing by the agency in Shil­long. Both Ban­er­jee and lead­ers of the BJP claimed vic­tory over the is­sue af­ter the apex court’s rul­ing. Al­liance (NDA) govern­ment has come up with a com­pre­hen­sive safety net for the poor.

He ex­plained that the poor could also count on the Ayush­man Bharat for health pro­tec­tion, PM Jee­van Jyothi Bima Yo­jana, a com­pletely free life in­sur­ance scheme, and also PM Su­rak­sha Yo­jana for ac­ci­den­tal death. “So, this is com­plete pack­age of so­cial se­cu­rity for the poor.”

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