New Delhi: To meet funds crunch of Armed Forces and its better utilisation, the defence ministry has asked them to prepare annual fund requirement for the next five years, said sources.
The Indian Army, Air Force and Navy have been asking defence ministry more funds in the forthcoming Union budget to meet their modernisation requirement.
“We have asked more money for modernisation in the next year’s budget. Defence minister Rajnath Singh has asked us to prepare a road map for year wise fund requirement for the next five years. So we are working on it,” said a senior official from the armed forces.
He said that armed forces don’t want funds to be allocated in terms of percentage of the GDP. “The funds for armed forces should not be kept in terms of percentage of GDP. It should be in fixed term basis. This year the GDP growth is expected to slowdown so if it is kept in terms of GDP percentage the funds for armed forces will dip,” he said.
Due to funds crunch, armed forces have been forced to go slow on their modernisation projects at a time when there is growing tension with Pakistan after removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. As per the Union Budget estimates, Navy has kept Rs 22,106 crore for modernisation in 2019-20. Indian Air Force has kept the highest at Rs 36,365 crore and Indian Army has around Rs 22,951 crore. All the three services are already demanding increase in funds in this year’s revised budget estimates itself as allocated funds are not enough to meet their modernisation plans. A senior Army official said that thrashing out funds requirement per annum will also help in its better utilisation for purchasing arms and ammunition. “If suddenly today government gives us Rs 10,000 crore to buy ammunition we will not be able to utilise it this year itself as there is globally shortage of ammunition. The factories only start making ammunition after getting order as they have a shelf life,” he said.