Between the Ukraine war and the ongoing tension with China on the LAC, the Defense Committee of Parliament has raised serious questions about the country’s defense budget. The committee headed by BJP MP Oram Juyal has also taken a dig at both the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry regarding the defense budget.
In the report of the Defense Parliamentary Committee laid on the table of Parliament, it has been said that for this year i.e. 2022-23, the three wings of the Army i.e. Army, Air Force and Navy together had demanded a capital budget of about 2.16 lakh crores. But the government has allocated only 1.52 lakh crores for the modernization of the army.
The process of upgrading weapons may stop
According to the report, this may affect the operational preparedness of the armed forces. The report clearly states that by reducing the capital budget, the armies will not be able to get new weapons and military equipment and the process of upgrading existing weapons may also stop. It has been said in the report that the modernization of such armies can have a significant impact.
In the defense budget, capital-budget is allocated for the modernization of armies, that is, for the purchase of weapons and other military equipment. The Defense Parliamentary Committee has raised particular questions regarding the budget of the Air Force. It has been said in the report that the defense budget of the Air Force (including both capital and revenue) was short of about 47000 thousand crores.
Regarding the preparations on two-front (China and Pakistan border) in the report, it has been said that this threat cannot be ignored. The report said that all the squadrons of the Air Force are getting old. In such a situation, LCA Mark-1 (Tejas) and MFRA ie Medium Range Fighter Jet (LCA-Mark 2) can help the Air Force a lot. Questions have also been raised in the report about the missiles of fighter planes and other weapons that fire-power and technology cannot be compromised at any cost.
Apart from MP Oram Juyal, 30 other MPs are included in the Defense Parliamentary Committee. These include senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP president (and former defense minister) Sharad Pawar. It has also been said in the report that the government should work to buy missiles for the indigenous Arjun tank at the earliest. Also, there is a need to make the indigenous aircraft, LCA Tejas more lethal. Along with this, Tejas also needs to meet the demand of the international market.
It has also been said in the report that the help of the Ministry of External Affairs should also be taken to sell the weapons of Defense PSUs abroad. Also said that with the corporatization of OFB ie Ordnance Factory Board, all the factories under it will produce advanced types of weapons with more profits.