Amid the growing tension between India and China in the Doklam plateau in Sikkim, the Defence Ministry has reportedly sought an additional amount of Rs 20,000 crore from the Centre to meet the requirements for combat readiness of Indian armed forces.
Ministry of Defence in its application said that the funds — Rs 2.74 lakh crore — allocated to them by the Centre was just 6% more than the previous year’s budget. Citing lack of available money, the ministry said that at least 50% of the funds have already been spent by them.
“Of the initial annual allocation about 50 per cent of Capital and more than one-third of the Revenue budget has already been spent,” reports India Today citing Defence Ministry.
The development comes weeks after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report cited an alarming shortage of ammunition with the Indian Army.
The CAG said that the Indian Army is battling a critical shortage of ammunition, especially for its tanks and artillery, and 121 out of the total 152 types of ammunition do not meet the minimum levels needed to fight a full-scale war.
The Army and ordnance factories report, tabled in Parliament, the government auditor has said that in the last few years, no significant improvement was made in the availability of War Wastage Reserve (WWR), which is ammunition needed to meet the requirements of 40 days of intense war or a full-scale war.
“Out of 152 types of ammunition, only 31 (21%) met the authorisation of 40 (days). Balance 121 types of ammunition were still below the authorisation level,” the CAG said in its findings.
The faceoff between India and China heightened after reports of Chinese army involved in the construction of roads along the controversial Doklam border surfaced in June this year.
The disputed land — Doklam — has long been claimed by the Chinese as their territory and they are now allegedly planning to build a road there. Both Bhutan and India have objected to China over the attempt to build a road in Doklam citing security concerns.
Bhutan recognises Doklam as its area while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Doka La is the Indian name for the region. China has been long pressing the statements demanding the withdrawal of Indian troops and accusing India of trespassing in Doklam.