New Delhi: The Indian Navy is going to ask for additional funds this year in the revised budget estimates as it seeks to build capacity to deal with an expansionist Chinese Navy in the region.
“We will certainly seek more money because of the challenges in meeting our aspirations within the available budget,” said vice-chief of the naval staff, Vice-Admiral G. Ashok Kumar. He said that “our endeavour is to ask for a higher share of the capital budget within the defence service budget itself, which has also dropped in last 6-7 years and so is Navy budget.”
The share of the Indian Navy in the overall defence budget has come down from 18 per cent in 2012-13 to 13.66 per cent. “Our aim is constantly to convince the power to enhance this share of Navy budget within the defence budget,” said Vice Admiral Kumar.
In July, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh warned that a lot of resources were shifted by China from other arms of People’s Liberation Army to its Navy and India will have to “watch it carefully”. The modernisation budget of the Indian Navy is lowest among the three services. As per the Union Budget estimates, Navy had kept `22,106 crore for modernisation in 2019-20.
The Air Force has the highest at `36,365 crore and the Indian Army has around `22,951 crore.
As part of the modernisation plan, Navy will commission the second Scorpene-class submarine INS Khanderi that has superior stealth and ability to launch a crippling attack with torpedoes on September 28 in Mumbai. INS Nilgiri, the first ship of the P17A frigates, would also be launched on the same day and an aircraft carrier dry dock would be inaugurated. “Now, with these three launches, you will find that the Navy’s combat potential will grow off many folds,” added Vice Admiral Kumar.