Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday allocated Rs 3.37 lakh crore as the defence budget for 2020-21, a meagre hike of 5.8 per cent in comparison to last financial year.
The most shocking part is such low jump in the funds' allocation for the capital outlay for defence sector for 2020-21 as compared to the budget estimates and revised estimates for 2019-20 even after big capability gap during Balakot airstrike and the dogfight followed after it.
The defence budget did not even get a mention in more than two and a half-hour-long speech of finance minister which shows that the government has given the priority to other sectors over the defence.
The recent development pertaining to funds allocation in the defence sector has proved that the Prime Minister's statement of the Indian Army's capability to defeat Pakistan in one week is nothing but just rhetoric.
The service-wise funds' allocation for the capital expenditure showed the Army getting Rs 32398.32 crore as against Rs 29666.90 crore during last fiscal.
The Navy also received a marginal jump in funds with Rs 26688.28 crore in comparison to Rs 26156.43 crore in last financial year.
Country's Air Force, in contrast, witnessed a cut in funds allocation for capital expenditure with Rs 43281.91 as against Rs 44869.14 last year.
Implementation of One Rank One Pension
Further, the implementation of One Rank One Pension has also put an additional burden on the fund of Defence Ministry.
With a little jump in overall defence budget allocation, the Indian defence forces seeking a long-planned modernisation programme is likely to wait longer as the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
All the tri-services have requested for an urgent modernisation to remain effective in war. For instance, the Indian Airforce is in dire need of hundreds of fighter aircraft to fight a two-front war.
It is already operating below its sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons. The navy has a long list of submarines and patrol ships to counter Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Similarly, the Indian Army has requested for almost every modern equipment from assault rifles to surveillance drones and body armour to increase its lethality.