The Indian Army, with the second largest military in terms of personnel, the Indian armed forces have always faced a shortage of funds when it comes to the introduction of modernized and indigenous equipment. ~ ORF
Following the standoff between India and Pakistan earlier this year, the country’s demand and need for national security is at an all-time high. Keeping this in mind, the Indian Army has asked the Ministry of Defence to be mindful that expense do not ‘shrink’ the corpus to procure arms and equipment crucial to the defence forces modernization efforts and maintaining existing assets.
Sources have highlighted the Army’s argument that additional integrated GST component has further affected its procurement budgets. The defence ministry, according to The Print, the Army said has also been asked to factor in the expenses borne by the Army on initiatives such as the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), that was launched in 2003 for all three services (Army, Air Force and Navy) and is estimated to run up a tab of Rs5,000 crore this year. “The Army has sought the ministry’s attention on these aspects. A lot of the defence budget for revenue and capital outlay goes into the extra taxes and in the ECHS, leaving the forces with little money for fresh acquisitions and maintenance,” a top official said. “Even the ECHS turns out to be a huge amount considering the number of officers who also come through the short service commission.”
In the lead up to the 2019 Lok Sabha Election, the then Finance Minister had proudly announced the defence (interim) budget which had officially crossed Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time in years. However, sources said it is still a budget which ‘does not satisfy the minimum requirements’ of a ‘modern day military’. The Observer Research Foundation (ORF) said the Indian Army, with the second largest military in terms of personnel, the Indian armed forces have always faced a shortage of funds when it comes to the introduction of modernized and indigenous equipment. It said the country’s armed forces have always stuck to a policy of procurement over indigenous production.