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Armed Forces Seek Rs 27 Lakh Crore Defence Budget, Worth 1.5 Percent Of GDP

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| July 16 , 2017 , 10:09 IST

In the wake of tense relations with both Pakistan and China, the armed forces have sought an allocation of Rs 26.84 lakh crore ($416 billion) over the next 5 years for military modernisation and maintenance to prepare for the dual threats of Pakistan and China.

After extensive consultations with stakeholders and DRDO, the 13th consolidated defence five-year plan for 2017-2022 has called for a budget of Rs 26,83,924 crore which is equivalent to 1.56 percent of the projected GDP of the nation. The current proposal marks the lowest percentage of GDP allocations for defence purposes since the 1962 war with China. 

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"The forces want the defence budget to progressively reach at least 2% of the GDP for their operational requirements," said a source.

The armed forces have called for an early approval for their budget as the annual acquisition plans will be conducted accordingly.

Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley assured the armed forces that capital expenditure for modernisation projects will be "a priority area" with resource availability increasing within the Indian economy.

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From the total Rs 26.84 lakh crore funds sought by the armed forces, Rs 12,88,654 crore has been projected for the capital outlay, and Rs 13,95,271 crore for revenue expenditure.

"The armed forces will concurrently work to improve their poor teeth-to-tail ratio as well as ensure proper inter-service prioritisation in procurements, thrust on indigenisation, and optimal utilisation of funds. They also want a concerted effort to prevent the yearly surrender of funds," said a source.

India is currently engaged in a standoff with Chinese troops on the Sikkim border after India protested on the road building exercises of China in the sensitive Doklam area on the tri-junction border between India, Bhutan, and China. Meanwhile, Pakistan repeatedly violates ceasefire along the Jammu and Kashmir LoC.