Policy & Funding: Shortchanging the Forces

If the parliamentary panel on defence spending, headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, had not brought out its report and slammed the government for cutting the defence budget at such a critical time, the general public would have been unaware of this grave travesty.

The Committee on Estimates report presented in the Lok Sabha last week brought out the fact that the defence budget allocated to the three services was Rs 2.95 lakh crore, down to 1.56 percent from 2.06 percent of the GDP.

This allocation is obviously the lowest since the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence had highlighted four to five months back that the funds allotted to the three services were grossly inadequate, even at a time when national leaders were engaging in jingoism over winning a two-front war with Pakistan and China, while getting the better of either country in the Indian Ocean region.

Military modernisation is directly proportional to the capital expenditure allotted for it. It is impossible to ignore the steady decline in capital expenditure, which was 39 percent of overall spending in 2016-17. Read More

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