Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Defence budget pegged at Rs 6.21 lakh crore for 2024-25


New Delhi: In a modest hike, the government on Thursday increased the defence budget to Rs 6.21 lakh crore for 2024-25 from last year’s allocation of Rs 5.94 lakh crore and announced an ambitious scheme for “deep-tech” technologies in the military domain.

In the interim Union budget presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a total of Rs 1.72 lakh crore was set aside to the military for capital expenditure that largely includes purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware.

For 2023-24, the budgetary allocation for capital outlay was Rs 1.62 lakh crore.

The finance minister also announced that a new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for defence purposes and to expedite ‘atmanirbharta’ or self-reliance in the area.

The total revenue expenditure has been pegged at Rs 4,39,300 crore that included Rs 1,41,205 crore for defence pensions, Rs 2,82,772 crore for defence services and Rs 15,322 crore for the Ministry of Defence (Civil).

In the capital outlay for defence services, Rs 40,777 crore has been set aside for aircraft and aero engines while an amount of Rs 62,343 crore was allocated for “other equipment”.

An outlay of Rs 23,800 crore has been made for naval fleet and Rs 6,830 crore for naval dockyard projects.

In the budget for 2023-24, the capital outlay for the Indian Air Force was the highest at Rs 57,137.09 crore that included Rs 15,721 crore for procurement of aircraft and aero engines and Rs 36,223.13 crore for other equipment.

The revenue expenditure for the Army has been pegged at Rs 1,92,680 crore for 2024-25 while the Navy and the Indian Air Force have been allocated Rs 32,778 crore and Rs 46,223 crore respectively.

Dr Laxman Kumar Behera, Associate Professor at Special Centre for National Security Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University described the overall allocation under the defence budget as modest which is reflective of the government’s priorities for the military.

“The allocations did not show any lack of commitment to the armed forces,” he told PTI.

Dr Behera also described as a “healthy sign” the increase of Rs 10,000 crore in the outlay under capital expenditure.


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