The Union Budget of INDIA for the fiscal year 2020-21 was presented by finance minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in parliament on 1 Feb, 2020 envisaging a total outlay of ₹30.42 lakh crore.
Out of this about ₹4.71 lakh crore was allocated to the defence sector of the country, amounting 15% of total expenditure, making India surpass Russia to become 3rd biggest military spender.
Lets have a quick factual review of the allocation :
Defence Budget (₹4.71 lakh crore)
1) Defence pension => ₹1.33 lakh crore
2) Revenue expenditure (salary and maintenance) => 2.18 lakh crore
3) Capital expenditure (modernization and defence deals) => ₹1.18 lakh crore
The allocation is an increase of over 9.37% over that for the fiscal year 2019-2020 which may not be considered enough compared to the need but still the share can be effectively utilised by proper categorization of required and unnecessary assets.
Lets take a look at the recent acquisitions of Indian armed forces for which payments has not yet been done or artilleries yet to be procured :
Army : High end artillery system (M777 ultra light howitzers), K-9 vajra self-propelled gun, indigenously developed howitzer Dhanush
IAF : 36 Rafael fighters, S-400 air defence system, Chinook
Navy : Looking forward to having 200 warships by 2027, P8i maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
The allocated share is not much to suffice the demands of the armed forces so it is surely going to be hard to cope up with it but there is a positive way forward. Since over 60% of the share is allocated to the pensioners which is practically a lot to spend on out of service personnel, so it has been suggested by CDS Vipin Rawat to increase the retirement age of low rank personnel to counter such expense. But since the army requires personnel upto a specific age so the idea is not much fulfilling. So an even better solution is suggested by the National Security Council Secretariat to reduce the quantum of pensioners by creating a system wherein there would be a flow between the armed forces and police forces.
Nevertheless, with great power comes greater responsibilities and challenges and India being a promising nation, will surely deliver with its ‘chaturangi’ tactics.
Meanwhile, comparing top 3 military spenders’ defence budget for the year 2020-21 :
USA => $738B (estimated)
China => $177.6B (announced)
India => $62B (announced)
Positive way forward:
Surpassing the largest country, Russia, is a huge achievement for the Indians to be proud of and with better implementation India would soon achieve an even better spot.
India has shown economic growth at a rapid pace over the past few years so it can be expected that it will stand toe to toe with the top countries in near future.