After four decades,Defence Ministry to spend full budget quota

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) Carrying out a massivemodernisation programme, the Defence Ministry for the firsttime after the 1971 war is likely to spend its full quota ofRs 60,000 crore for capital acquisitions in the currentfiscal.

The big ticket deals such as the US-made C-130Jtransport planes, the preliminary design contract with Russiafor the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) andprocurement of Akash missile defence systems have helped theministry to achieve the significant milestone, DefenceMinistry officials told PTI here.

This year''s total defence budget was Rs 1.47 lakhcrore of which Rs 87,344 crore was marked for revenueexpenditure and the rest was for capital expenditure.

Officials said that due to the acceleratedmodernisation programme in the last five years, the capitalexpenditure has seen a three-fold increase to Rs 2.27 lakhcrore for the period between 2005 and 2010.

The value of 687 contracts signed during this periodwas Rs 2.32 lakh crore.

"From 1998 to 2004, the expenditure under the capitalhead was Rs 82,297 crore, whereas in the next six years- from2004-05 to 2009-10- it went up by three times to touch themark of 2,27,566 crore," they said.

During the last fiscal, the ministry had for the firsttime crossed the Rs 50,000 crore mark.

Officials said that over the years the money allocatedunder the capital expenditure has seen a steady increaseexcept for 2005-06 and 2008-09, when a bulk of 25 per cent ofthe money under the capital head remained unused due to thecancellation of major deals.

"Otherwise, the expenditure under the capital head isshowing a very good trend in using the allocated money," theysaid.

In 2009-10 the allocated money under the capital head,in fact, overshot by a small margin.

India is currently the 10th largest defence spender inthe world with an estimated two per cent share of globaldefence expenditure.

The three armed forces have embarked on a massivemodernisation programme under which India is expected to spendat least USD 80 billion in next five to six years foracquisition of weapon systems and platforms.

The big ticket deals to be signed in the near futureinclude the USD 11 billion M-MRCA contract for 126 fighterjets, a deal for procuring six advanced conventionalsubmarines under Project 75 India estimated to cost USD 12billion and the mega deal for co-developing the fifthgeneration fighter aircraft with Russia which is likely tocost USD 30 billion in next 20 years.

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