India slashes its defence budget by five per cent, economic slowdown blamed

India defence budget

Government has imposed around five per cent cut in the Rs 1.93 lakh crore defence budget this year in view of economic slowdown.

The Ministry of Finance recently conveyed to the Defence Ministry that there would be a cut of around Rs 10,000 crore in the Rs 1.93 lakh crore allocated for the defence sector, Ministry officials said here.

After the cut in budget, several key acquisition plans of the three forces including the procurement of 126 combat aircraft for the IAF are expected to be pushed for the next fiscal, they said.

Defence Minister A K Antony had given indications in this regard recently when he said that the Ministry would be struggling to get even the allocated amount.

"I am struggling to get the budgetary amount," he had said when asked if he was hopeful of getting the additional Rs 40,000 crore sought by his ministry for modernisation of the three services.

In view of the cost-cutting measures, defence forces have been asked by the ministry to concentrate on prioritising their procurements.

Under the Rs 1.93 lakh crore budget, Rs 1,13,829 crore is for revenue expenditure including salaries and pensions and Rs 79,579 crore was allocated for modernising the armed forces by acquiring new assets.

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