Defense ministry seeks Rs. 20,000cr for modernization amid Doklam standoff
The Indian defense ministry has requested the Centre to allocate it an "urgent" additional Rs. 20,000 crore for military modernization and day-to-day operating costs.
The funds are in addition to the Rs. 2.74 lakh crore defense spending approved under the 2017-18 budget.
The move comes amid the tensed standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction near Sikkim.
Indian military's needs urgent funds to modernize
Indian Army's shocking weapons shortage
A recent CAG report found that the Indian Army doesn't even possess one-third of its authorized war wastage reserves of sufficient ammunition for 40 days of intense fighting. The army requires various types of ammunition worth an estimated Rs. 35,000-40,000 crore.
2017-18 defense budget leaves little for new modernization deals
The 2017-18 budget allocation comprises of Rs. 1.72 lakh crore as revenue expenditure which is meant for day-to-day costs and to pay salaries.
This is much higher than the capital expenditure of Rs. 86,488 crore meant for buying new weapons and modernization.
A bulk of the 2017-18 capital expenditure has gone towards payments for previously signed defense deals, leaving little for new ones.
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Small defense budget leads to critical operational gaps
The Rs. 2.74 lakh crore defense budget amounts to 1.56% of India's projected GDP, the lowest proportion since the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
The armed forces want the yearly defense budget to be increased to at least 2% of the GDP in a phased manner to meet their operational requirements.
The continued decline in modernization budgets has left the military with critical operational gaps.
Armed forces need $416bn over 5 years to counter Pakistan/China
Under the 13th Defense Plan (2017-22), the military has projected a requirement of Rs. 26.84 lakh crore ($416 billion) over five years, meant for modernization to counter threats emanating from both China and Pakistan.
Last year, the government urgently approved contracts worth Rs. 23,700 crore to ensure the army, navy and air force have adequate ammunition and spares for "short and intense wars."
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