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  5. Budget 2019-20: Will the josh be high? Here's what defence sector expects from Nirmala Sitharaman

Budget 2019-20: Will the josh be high? Here's what defence sector expects from Nirmala Sitharaman

Budget 2019-20: India's defence forces are in dire need of modernisation. Indian Army needs new assault rifles, bulletproof jackets. Indian Navy needs modern submarines and helicopters. Indian Air Force needs new fighter jets. Read on to what is expected from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she presents her first Union Budget as India's first full-time woman finance minister.

Manas Joshi Manas Joshi @@ManasJoshi
New Delhi Updated on: January 31, 2020 16:30 IST
Union Budget 2019-20
Image Source : INDIANARMY.NIC.IN

Indian armed forces are steeped in valour but in dire need of modernisation.

Defence Sector saw a massive increase in allocation of funds in the interim budget in which more than Rs 3 lakh crores were kept aside. For the first time, country's defence budget crossed Rs 3 lakh crore. Indian armed forces face major challenges with respect to threats from China and Pakistan. Defence experts are suggesting the government to increase spends for this sector which they say will go a long way in terms of national security.

There are many challenges in front of Indian armed forces

  • Funds are required to completely close defense deals like Rafale, Apache Helicopoter, Russian S-400 missile systems and others.
  • There are little resources available for modernisation of weaponry of the armed forces.
  • After implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) and 7th pay commission, about 70 per cent of the funds allocated for defence are spent on salary, manpower cost and pension of the personnel. This is one of the most important expenditures but it also leaves reduced room for modernisation of the armed forces. Government needs to strike a balance.
  • Indian Army needs new rifles, artillery guns and bulletproof jackets. Indian Navy needs more submarines and helicopters while Indian Air Force needs new fighter jets.

In the interim budget presented before Lok Sabha elections 2019, Narendra Modi-led Central government had allocated Rs 4.31 lakh crore for defence sector. Though India's defence budget crossed Rs 3 lakh crore mark for the first time in the interim budget, expert believe that more funds are necessary. However, it is expected that there will only be modest increase in the funds allocation for defence sector in Union Budget 2019 owing to tight finances. 

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