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Armed forces need more funds for weapons: Parliamentary panel

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The armed forces need more funds to procure state-of-the-art weapons, but the Budget for 2020-21 has provided 35 per cent less than the projected demand, said a standing committee report on Demands for Grants for capital outlay for defence services. The report was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Friday.

The panel said there was a “considerable shortage” of funds and that such a situation was a dampener in a modern-day warfare.

The parliamentary panel said a shortage in capital outlay will affect acquisition of latest weaponry, aircraft, ships, tanks and capital intensive projects such as land, building and other infrastructure.

“The committee feels and desires that to develop and acquire the most modern state-of-the-art fighting platforms, which can match northern and western neighbours, the requisite allocation is very essential,” the report said.

This is happening when Pakistan and China are ramping up their military prowess.

Observing that since 2015-16, none of the services got the matching allocation as per the projection, the parliamentary panel said in modern war, possession of capital intensive weapons is “prerequisite for not only tilting the result in our favour but also having a credible deterrence capabilities.””

The total capital allocation for the next fiscal as reflected in the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 stands at 1,13, 734 crores. However, the projection by the armed forces was Rs 1,75, 702.06 crores which amounts to a shortage of Rs 61, 968.06crores.

While approving the allocations for the Defence budget, the Ministry of Defence should take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance explaining them the importance of capital works which are done to maintain the ideal ratio of 60:40 between the Revenue and Capital heads, the panel stated.

–IANS

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