New Delhi: Indian Army, Air Force and Navy which are facing a combined challenge from Pakistan and China, got just Rs 10,300 crore hike in funds to buy new arms and ammunition in the Union budget which could adversely impact their modernisation plans.
Indian Air Force, which is in the process of buying new Rafale aircraft and also needs more fighter jets to replace its ageing aircraft, has actually seen a slight decrease in its capital outlay for modernisation at Rs 43,281 crore in 2020-21 against Rs 44,869 crore in the revised budget last year.
Indian Navy has been given just Rs 26,688 crore in 2020-21 budget for modernisation against Rs 26,156 crore in the revised budget last year.
A shortage in funds is forcing Indian Navy to curtail its plan to be a 200 ships fleet by 2027 as per maritime capability perspective plan. It has already cut some of the acquisition including Mine Counter Measure Vessels and P8i maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
Indian Army was also forced to cut some expenditures to ensure that it has ammunition for at least 10 days war.
The budget has allocated Rs 32,392 crore to the Indian army for its modernisation plans against Rs 29,666 crore given in the revised budget last year.
The government has kept Rs 3.37 lakh crore (excluding pension) for the defence forces in the Union budget against Rs 3.18 lakh crore last year, an increase of Rs 5.8 per cent.
A major part of the money from this goes towards salaries of the military and civilian officials and day to day functioning of the defence forces at Rs 2.18 lakh crore.
The percentage of the allocation has almost remained static at around 1.5 per cent of the GDP which is the lowest since the 1962 war with China.
Union budget has allocated Rs 1.3 lakh crore for the pensions of military and civilians.
The budget allocated Rs 1.13 lakh crore for the capital outlay which is used for modernisation of the defence forces against Rs 1.03 lakh crore in last year's budget.
The forces have been demanding an increase in funds allocation to buy new weapons.
The Union budget has kept Rs 10,532 crore for defence research and development.
If pension is also included the defence outlay comes to Rs 4.71 lakh crore compared to Rs 4.3 lakh crore in last year's budget....