No funding constraints for defence budget: Rajnath Singh
The minister informed the House that the government will not allow any adverse impact on defence preparedness on account of fund constraints.Updated: Jun 24, 2019 23:49 IST
There will be no compromise on the issue of defence preparedness on account of lack of resources, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh assured the Rajya Sabha on Monday, while replying to a question on defence allocation.
The minister informed the House that the government will not allow any adverse impact on defence preparedness on account of fund constraints.
“We have taken precaution that there is no shortcoming on the country’s defence preparedness in any way by way of budget constraints. We will not compromise on India’s defence preparedness,” he said.
Congress’s Anand Sharma had asked the minister whether it is a fact that the requirements for capital acquisition of the Indian Armed Forces have not been fully met and the budgetary allocations have been declining factoring in inflation. “The actual increase of the Defence Budget, as per the Report, the recent Report, submitted to Parliament by the Standing Committee on Defence, was only 0.75%,” Sharma said.
In reply to another supplementary question, Singh said in absolute terms, the defence budget has increased in the past few years. In 2019-20, he added, one-third or 32.19% of the total capital expenditure of central government is being spent on defence which is the highest among all other central ministries.
The minister also denied that there is under-utilisation of funds in the sector, or there is a lag in modernisation of the sector.
“As far as the question of under-utilisation of budget is…now this question does not stand. Whatever budget is allocated to us, we have utilised it more than 100%,” Singh said.
To a question on whether bureaucracy is stalling purchases, the minister said there are no procedural delays as powers [for acquisition] have been transferred to forces now.