Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Narendra Modi government’s eighth consecutive regular budget in early February 2021. All eyes will be on budget allocations for the ministry of defence (MoD). Will Sitharaman make a hefty addition to the total of ₹3,23,053 crore provided in 2020-21 for India’s defence budget, or stick to a moderate increase in view of the harsh economic reality?
The general expectation is that India’s defence budget is poised for a robust increase in 2021-22. This expectation has been heightened by the country’s ongoing military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. Chinese perfidy and the prolonged crisis at cold mountainous heights, with no sign of disengagement in the near future, have called for renewed attention to plugging holes in India’s defence preparedness in the shortest possible time-frame.
An additional defence allocation will not only cater to the immediate requirements of nearly 50,000 forces deployed in eastern Ladakh to counter the Chinese belligerence, but will also signal that India’s government means business when it comes to the nation’s sovereignty and security.
The extra allocation will also help expedite key border-infrastructure development projects and speed up the execution of modernization programmes expected to give a further boost to the Indian armed forces in dealing with the two-front threat of external aggression faced by the country, a threat that’s more real now than ever before.
Along with the armed forces, Indian industry, particularly domestic arms manufacturers, would be expecting a significant increase in the capital procurement budget
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