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Army Considers 1.5 Lakh Job Cuts To Save Rs. 7,000 Crore For Buying Weapons

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| September 11 , 2018 , 08:57 IST

The Indian Army is said to be considering a proposal to cut up to 1.5 lakh jobs, which would save between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 7,000 crore that can be used to maintain and replenish antiquated weaponry in its arsenal, media reported on Monday.

According to a report by NDTV, currently 85 percent or Rs 1.28 lakh crore of the Army's total budget is spent in revenue expenses such as day-to-day running costs and salaries, excluding the annual pension payout which is independently accounted for. Only 17 percent of the budget Rs. 26,826 crore goes towards capital expenditure, which the army reportedly finds unsatisfactory.

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Earlier in March, then Vice Chief of the Army, Lt General Sarath Chand had said to a parliamentary panel, "The state today is [that] 68 per cent of our equipment is in the vintage category with just about 24 per cent in the current and 8 per cent in the state-of-the-art category."

He added, "Allocation of Rs. 21,338 crore for modernisation is insufficient even to cater for committed payment of Rs. 29,033 crore for 125 on-going schemes and emergency procurements."

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However, sources in the army have clarified that the proposal to reduce manpower is still to be accepted and that there was no question of laying off serving officers and soldiers as 60,000 personnel retire from the army every year. If the proposal were accepted and the army were to reduce its manpower it would be done by a cutting down on its annual recruitment over a few years.

"Merging of some verticals and rationalising roles are likely to result in cutting 50,000 troops over the next two years. A reduction of 100,000 more personnel may be possible by 2022-23. But all this is in the study phase right now," a military official was quoted as saying by the HT.