Modernisation

Funds needed for India’s defence till 2025 projected

File Photo: India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh.

New Delhi: India’s Ministry of Defence has made projections to the 15th Finance Commission for budgetary support to fund the armed forces’ modernisation projects.

The commission, headed by former bureacraft N. K. Singh, held a meeting with the defence ministry officials led by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh here today.

“During the meeting, the ministry gave its fund projections for the period 2020-2025, which is also the award period of the 15th Finance Commission. The ministry informed the commission about the allocated budget for the ministry in comparison to the projections made,” a statement from the ministry said.

The ministry officials apprised the commission that it was exploring a number of alternative sources of funding.

The commission assured the ministry that it would take into consideration all the suggestions made that would help to increase the overall capital space of the ministry, bring about predictability and help the ministry in its defence preparedness efforts.

The Ministry of Finance had on July 29 by a notification, based of an order from the President of India, amended the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission. The amended notification had inserted Paragraph 9A in the terms of reference, which reads: “The Commission shall also examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up, and if so, how such a mechanism could be operationalised.”

As a follow-up to this revised terms of reference, the meeting between the commission and the ministry was held.

Apart from the minister, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Production Secretary Subhash Chandra, Secretary (Ex-Serviceman Welfare) Sanjeevanee Kutty, Defence R&D Secretary and DRDO Chairman Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Defence Finance Secretary Gargi Kaul, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen. Devraj Anbu, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal R. K. S. Bhadauria and Coast Guard Director General Krishnaswamy Natarajan attended the meeting on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

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