Defence Modernization: Forces demand for Rs. 27,00,000 crore from GoI
In a bid to carry India's geo-strategic interests forward and handle threats from Pakistan and China, the Indian Armed Forces have asked for an allocation worth Rs 26.84 lakh crore over the next five years (2017-2022).
The budget plan for the same was presented at the Unified Commander's Conference held on July 10-11, after extensive consultations with stakeholders including the DRDO.
13th Defence Plan: Managing threats and operational gaps
Why is this important?
Defence five-year plans are pivotal to ensuring a country's defence preparedness and are created in accordance with the "Raksha Mantri's operational directives" and the Long-term Integrated Perspective Plan.
While the past three plans failed to get approval, evolving crises at the eastern and western fronts including constant cross-firing across the LoC and the Sikkim stand-off, make the 13th plan crucial to plug operational gaps.
What is the 13th Defence Plan about?
The plan projects Rs. 12,88,654 crore for capital outlay, while Rs. 13,95,271 crore has been allocated for revenue expenditure.
Intended to focus on China, the plan also includes a separate outlay for the capability development of the tri-services command located in Andaman and Nicobar.
According to sources, the plan also looks towards 'optimal utilization of resources, improving tooth-to-tail ratio and inter-service prioritization of procurements'.
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Is this enough for defending India?
While India is the fifth largest military spender, India's defence modernization budget has reportedly been on the decline.
For instance, under the 2017-18 defence budget, a revenue outlay worth-Rs. Rs 1,72,774 crore overtook capital outlay for modernization at Rs. 86,488 crore.
While the 13th Plan figure amounts to 1.56% of GDP, it reportedly has to touch 2% of GDP to plug all operational holes.