Budget 2019: Why Defence must figure in FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech

The current year’s regular budget is slated to be presented to the parliament on July 5, 2019. Having won a decisive mandate in the general elections, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is well placed to take bold initiatives to raise additional revenues and provide more funds to the sectors which need them.

Whether that will happen, and if it does, whether defence – perpetually reeling under the impact of insufficient funds – will be a beneficiary remains to be seen. As of now it seems unlikely. The pressing need to focus on social, rural and infrastructure sectors stacks the deck against high expectations that many defence analysts have from the finance minister.

Not that there is absolutely no possibility of any additional funds being allocated or that there is no case for doing so. Read More

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