New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the recent submarine mishap, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday suggested that the Defence Ministry is not spending the funds "wisely" enough and contended that the maintenance of the military assets was being neglected.
He insisted that the Finance Ministry provides "a lot of money" to the Defence Ministry and "I sincerely hope that the defence forces will learn a lesson and make sure that the money allotted to them is spent more wisely and more efficiently on essential matters."
Chidambaram was responding when questioned by an NSUI member over the provision of sufficient funds to the Defence Ministry.
At a function organised by the Congress' student wing NSUI in Delhi, the woman said that Lt Commander Kapish Muwal, who died in the mishap on INS Sindhuratna, was her brother and asked Chidambaram "why the government is not sanctioning money for security and safety" as casualties are taking place.
She also referred to the sinking of another submarine INS Sindhurakshak a few months ago and said the armed forces are
going for refits as they are shortage of finances.
Rejecting the view that adequate finances are not provided for the armed forces, Chidambaram said, "As far as defence expenditure is concerned, I think it is not correct to say that enough money is not being provided. There is no such thing as 'enough'."
Chidambaram noted that this time the Finance Ministry has allocated Rs. 2.25 lakh crore for the defence, which is "for defence, believe me, we have provided the maximum
amount that we can," he insisted.