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Ajit Kumar Dubey
Ajit Kumar Dubey


Defence sector fails to get into Budget announcements

Jaitley-Budget (File) There was a confusion over the figures given in the budget documents on allocation for Defence Ministry

For the first time in the last many decades, the all-important allocation for defence was found missing from the Budget speech.

Everyone in the Ministry of Defence was waiting for the announcement on allocation for Defence Ministry and armed forces but for reasons unknown, it was not there in the speech, Defence Ministry officials said.

Later on, there was a confusion over the figures given in the budget documents on allocation for Defence Ministry.

"Even till late, officers in the ministry were not sure over figures as to what was the actual allocation for revenue expenditure and capital expenditure and that is why, the ministry could not brief media on accurate figures allocated to it," sources said.

To add to the woes of those interested in knowing the exact budgetary figures, the Finance Ministry had decided to publish only a very limited number of copies for making the process eco-friendly.

This year, the Defence Ministry has been allocated Rs 3,41,000 crore of which Rs 82,000 crore would go to disbursing huge pensions due to the acceptance of the One Rank One Pension demand. Due to OROP protests, the defence pension outlay has gone up by Rs 28,000 crore.

For buying new equipment for the armed forces, the Finance Minister has allocated Rs 86,000 crore as the forces are planning to buy important systems such as the Rafale combat aircraft, M777 light howitzers and transport aircraft and military helicopters.

The hike in Budget has been quite moderate with only 4.8% increase, but this was on expected lines as the pension bill of the government was set to go high due to increase in number of pensioners and acceptance of OROP.

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