Budget 2019: Optimising the Defence budget and the need for organisational reform

The absence of any mention of the defence outlay in the budget presentation by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, despite her having been the Defence Minister till less than two months ago reflected the continuing neglect of national security at the highest levels of government.

This indifference was also evident in the figures with a total outlay of Rs 3,18,936.22 (approx. $ 45 Bn) which continues to hover around 1.6% of GDP and unchanged from the interim budget allocation in February 2019 of this amount, Rs 2,10.682.42 crores has been allocated for the Revenue stream and Rs 1,08,246.80 towards Capital expenditure, neither of which are sufficient for a military (army, navy and air force) that is operationally committed 24x7x365 with major capability gaps staring it in the face. Read More

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