The current sector facing the heat of financial cut seems to be the defence sector of India. After an unprecedented exodus of thousands of Indian jawans from the force, it has been found that most of the equipment currently used by the Indian Army are vintage. Apart from using the old age equipment, it was also found that the Indian Army also lacks funds to expand its wings towards modernisation. Addressing the lawmakers in the Parliament a senior Army officer claimed that the budget allotted to Army is also not enough to pay for the existing defence projects.
Addressing the panel of lawmakers, Indian Army’s Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand said that the Army had found at least 25 projects under PM Narenda Modi’s Make In India as part of modernisation, on projects. Stating that they have been allotted low budget, the officer claimed that several of the adopted projects have to be scrapped as the Army lacks adequate funds to support the projects. The officer claimed, “As far as we are concerned, the state today is 68% our equipment is in the vintage category, with just about 24% in the current, and 8% in the state of the art category”.
Highlighting the problems faced by the Indian Army, the officers said that the proportion of equipment that can be classified as vintage should not exceed one-third. Addressing the panel, the officer said, “The Budget of 2018-19 has dashed our hopes and most of what had been achieved has actually received a little set back.” While announcing the budget for the year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had allotted Rs. 21,338 crore for the army’s modernisation purposes. The allotted budget failed to please the Army as they had asked for Rs 37,000 crore. The Army also said that they already have committed payments of Rs 29,000 crore on 125 on-going schemes. The officer said that the left money won’t be sufficient for new projects.
Stating that a two-front war is reality, the officer told that panel that it was important that they pay attention to the modernisation of army. The Lt Gane said, “The allocation is falling short by around Rs 902 Crore from what we have demanded. So, there is an overall shortfall of around Rs 12,296 Crore as far as capital is concerned.”