Govt to hike defence budget

Indian Express

In the backdrop of evolving Asian security scenario, defence modernisation is poised to get a massive boost in the coming fiscal with the Budget likely to increase capital acquisition allocation by almost 25 per cent. Defence Ministry officials said that the Finance Ministry has agreed to a “significant jump” in the capital acquisition outlay to nearly Rs 56,000 crore in 2011-12 from revised provision of Rs 45,000 crore in the current fiscal.

The enhanced outlay is seen as being in sync with the defence spending by India’s immediate neighbours, especially China which has been increasing its outlays by double digits over the last two decades.

However, most of the enhanced Budget — nearly Rs 35,000 crore — would go towards “committed liabilities of the past few years”, said the officials. Besides, there would be new spending on big ticket items such as medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) and much delayed reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters.

India plans to spend Rs 46,000-crore for 126 MMRCA, the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, for Indian Air Force and more than Rs 60,000 crore for 197 advanced helicopters for IAF and the Indian Army. “Field trials have been completed for both products and only the government (Cabinet Committee on Security) approval remains,” said the officials.

The enhanced outlay is also reflective of the Defence Ministry’s past record in spending. After struggling during his initial years as the Defence Minister, A K Antony has been able to exhaust the Budget allocation for the second year in a row.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Feb 23 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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