Millennium Post

Armed forces cheer 9.46% hike in defence budget

Armed forces cheer 9.46% hike in defence budget
The revised estimate (RE) of the defence budget 2014-15 was uncharacteristically lower by about Rs 13,000 crores than the budget estimate (BE) of Rs 229,000 crores, with the government withdrawing the amount for other purposes towards the end of 2014-15. So the BE allocation for defence in 2015-16 that stood at Rs 246,727 crores was 9.46 per cent higher than the RE of 2014-15 of Rs 222,370 crores.

This can be termed a process of discounting for an inflation rate of 5-6 per cent that the Economic Survey that has been tabled in Parliament on Friday estimated. In other words, the finance minister, who was also the defence minister till few months ago has not even made an attempt of toeing the line of the UPA’s former finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who used to make a boiler plate announcement at the end of a below par defence budget, that if there is crisis of national security nature confronts the country, the government will find the cash to boost defence.   

Defence observers like senior defence accounts officer Amit Cowshish feels the Rs 13,000 crores that was taken away from the account of the defence ministry was actually the amount that would have remained “unspent” by the ministry. His logic being even if the ministry now claims that it does not have the money to conclude the contracts of Apache and Chinook choppers for the Indian Air Force, it actually flies on the face of logic.
Pinaki Bhattacharya

Pinaki Bhattacharya

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