Defence budget up 25 percent after Mumbai attacks

Singh

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Defence budget up 25 percent after Mumbai attacks

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Monday said defence spending would grow by 25 percent in 2009-10 to $29.39 billion as it moves to modernise weapons systems and overhaul its security forces after last year's Mumbai attacks exposed major gaps.

Additionally, the country will spend $562 million exclusively for boosting border security and modernising its police force, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while reading the budget on Monday.

"Significant augmentation in the strength of the paramilitary forces is being done. This calls for more investment in creating the necessary infrastructure," Mukherjee said.

India's final proposed defence spending was nearly 2 percent higher than what was announced in February's interim budget, given ahead of the April/May general election.

"This specific allocation for border management and modernising the police force appears to be a direct fallout of the Mumbai attacks," said Uday Bhaskar, Director of National Maritime Foundation, a New Delhi-based thinktank.

Since militants killed 166 people in three days in Mumbai in November, the government has focused more on security. Immediately afterward, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged an overhaul of the intelligence, police and paramilitary services.

Last year, India raised defence spending by 10 percent before announcing plans to spend more than $30 billion over the next five years to upgrade its largely Soviet-era weapons systems.

As part of that, it is planning one of its biggest-ever deals, the $10 billion purchase of 126 fighter jets.

Now India is integrating its three armed forces and increasing security along its coasts after militants from Pakistan attacked Mumbai from the sea route.

"We will do all that is necessary to modernise the security and intelligence services and that's a commitment which is essential even to deal with problems of development," Singh said after the budget was announced.

Other than increasing police manpower, India will speed up construction of fences and floodlights along its borders and build roads, Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee also announced a $100 million aid package for the rehabilitation of Tamil war displaced in Sri Lanka, a move seen as part of India's effort to retain influence over the Indian Ocean nation's reconstruction plans against Chinese competition.

Defence budget up 25 percent after Mumbai attacks | Top News | Reuters
 

ZOOM

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25% hike in Defence spending for FY 2009-10 doesn't carry us a reason to cheer anything about. If we take into account ongoing economic crisis all over the world, it is too pre-mature to assume that we can fulfill all our modernization needs through this budget. As usual, biggest challange would be to allocate this budget for all defence needs. I guess, 6th Pay commission to pay salary shortfall to defence personal will eat into biggest chunk of this allocated amount, and in any case whatever we left with, I don't think we would be able to go for any big ticket purchase. We haven't shown a kind of a efficiency in spending all the amount for Armed Forces modernization. Under such circumstances, will we able to speed up our security and saftey needs is under great question mark.
 

p2prada

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Other than increasing police manpower, India will speed up construction of fences and floodlights along its borders and build roads, Mukherjee said.
Ok. Now where did that come from. Is this going to be implemented all across the Indo-Bangla and Indo-Pak borders? Hope it is.
 

Yusuf

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Every year, the armed forces return back unutilized funds. That's what I have read.
But even if the pay commission is taken into account, it does leave quite a lot of money for weapons purchase. That apart, all the big ticket purchases are separately negotiated and funds allocated.
 

K Factor

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No use if they return the funds without using them next year.


From THE TOI report
The defence ministry had returned nearly Rs 7,000 crore as unspent money from its last year's capital outlay of Rs 48,007 crore as its plans to procure light utility helicopters and 155mm artillery guns did not fructify.
 

prahladh

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Why return 7000cr when you can buy an AWAC with it.
 

ZOOM

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Why return 7000cr when you can buy an AWAC with it.
Your concern is highly understandble, but armed force allocate the amount for any defence spending in advance, few years earlier and hence this rest of the amount unspent remain unplanned and require to return it to Defence ministry.
 

venom

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Thats Great....Now we can purchase more deadlier weapons...........
 

ZOOM

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Most ironical part of this budget was that, our FM Mr. Pranab Mukherjee spent only 2 Minutes in his budget speech dedicated for National Security including announcement for Defence outlay of his entire speech of two hours.
 

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