Inadequate Defense Budget Affects The Strength Of Armed Forces
The parliamentary joint committee on defense made stinging remarks that put in question the Government of the day’s defense priority. It studied the budgetary allocation for all armed forces last year and came to the conclusion that Army modernization will be increasingly tougher in the eventuality of meager defense allocation. It is to be noted that the current allocation of INR 21,338 crore would not suffice for the required modernization of existing 125 schemes and the 4.5% increase in revenue expenditure won’t be able to pay for the 7th pay commission rewards.
The reports made some alarming points. Among the current armament level that army maintains, only 8% is of state of the art, 68% of the same is of a vintage category which would not help in the area of internal security, forget about the defense of the borders or war.
Gen Rawat stressed the need to raise military along with the economy in a lecture at Vivekanand International Foundation; he praised China for military modernization. It is to be noted that strategic circles in India view China as the primary threat and in near future want the country to be equipped to face Chinese hostility. He had stated the probability to fight the ‘two front war’.
The media which should play a watchdog is busy with sensational news and being an advisory committee, the Parliamentary committee can’t go beyond recommendation. The Army met with only 60% of its demanded funds while case of Navy was even more serious with, 54% of demands met. Airforce performed relatively better with 67% of the demands being met.
The committee chairperson is Gen Khandoori who has been a Minister in NDA-1. This showcases the inherent neutrality in the report and wakes up to the reality of defense preparedness instead of partisan politics.