09:48 GMT28 March 2020
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    India on Thursday announced a hike of 7.81 % (1.58% of the GDP) in defense spending. As this may put the armed forces' big-ticket modernization plans in limbo, experts suggest it is high time India relooked the way budget allocations are made for its defense sector.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Narendra Modi government's decision to maintain a near status-quo in the country's defense budget despite high-flying ambitions in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and perceived threats from adversaries has evoked strong reactions from analysts.

    Experts say that the allocations are not only limited as compared to the urgent needs of the military but there is also an urgent need for a change in the way defense budget is managed.

    "The whole system of defense allocation in India is flawed. We should have a roll on budget, a budget that does not lapse and it is critical to the management of Indian defense budget. The budget allocations need to be managed better in India. It must be specific to a head and the allocation should not be linked to the specific financial year," defense expert Lt Gen Shankar Prasad (Retd.) told Sputnik.

    Another defense analyst Brahma Chellany echoed similar opinion on Twitter.

    Reading out the general budget for the financial year 2018-19 to the Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed that allocations for the defense sector were being hiked to approximately $46.15 billion from last year's $42.18 billion. This includes a capital outlay of $15.55 billion for the purchase of new weapon systems and modernization which is dwarfed by the revenue expenditure (day-to-day running costs, salaries of defense personnel etc) of $ 30.6 billion. The defense budget does not include $17.0 billion separately allocated for payment to pensioners, according to a report published by the Times of India.

    READ MORE: Indian Navy Expected to Push for Second Aircraft Carrier Funding

    The armed forces, incidentally, had sought an allocation of approximately $416 billion over the next five years to ensure requisite military modernization and maintenance, the newspaper report adds.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    military expenditure, Defense Procurement, modernization, Indian Armed Forces, Arun Jaitley, India
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