The defence ministry may be facing flak for dragging its feet over military's modernisation, but some number crunching throws up a different story.
For the first time, the ministry may not surrender a single rupee out of the capital expenditure of Rs 60,000 crore earmarked for modernisation of armed forces during 2010-11.
In a significant departure from the past trend of not being able to spend allocated funds, the defence ministry has received additional resources of Rs 2,337 crore from the finance ministry through re-appropriation.
With the supplementary funds factored in, this year's defence budget has shot up from Rs 1,47,344 crore to Rs 1,49,681 crore.
Defence secretary Pradeep Kumar said, "This year we will be topping the Rs 60,000 crore assigned for modernisation. ...The money allocated to us is being well spent. Modernisation is a process, it doesn't end…Building defence capabilities and welfare of troops are important areas for us."
Kumar's assertion that the capital expenditure will be used up to build robust capacities is significant considering the ministry has traditionally surrendered funds.
The defence ministry did not spend Rs 7,000 crore out of the capital outlay of Rs 54,824 crore for modernisation last year.
It surrendered Rs 7,007 crore in 2008-09, Rs 3,750 crore in 2007-08 and Rs 3,000 crore in 2006-07.