Antony rules out cut in defence budget

Defence Minister A K Antony on Saturday ruled out any cut in the defence budget affecting operational preparedness of the armed forces.

“For ammunition and platforms essential for operational preparedness of the armed forces, there would not be any cut,” Antony said here on the sidelines of a function to mark the 48th foundation day for Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.

Earlier this week, the minister reviewed various strategic projects and asked the services to focus their procurement on items required for operational readiness in the next four to five months.

“There will be no shortage of funds for ammunition, platforms and projects. Efforts would be made to speed up procurement,” he stated.

The Defence Ministry received Rs 1,93,407 crore in 2012-13 crore budget that included Rs 79,579 crore for capital expenditure. The allocation for capital expenditure was increased to Rs 79,579 crore from last fiscal’s revised estimate of Rs 66,144 crore in anticipation of several big-ticket deals.

The biggest military deal – purchase of 126 combat jets for Indian Air Force – is unlikely to be inked in the current fiscal. However, additional push would be given to development of infrastrcuture in Arunachal Pradesh and the Indigenous Aircraft Carier project, which is several years behind schedule.

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