Less funds will hamper arms purchase: MHA

A reduced allocation by the Finance Ministry has prompted the Union Home Ministry to tell a parliamentary panel that it would "badly hamper" procurement of arms and ammunition, purchase of surveillance equipment and infrastructure development of paramilitary forces.

In an Action Taken Report tabled in Parliament earlier this month, the ministry said the allocation was not sufficient.

The Home Ministry said it would again approach the Finance Ministry and seek an additional allocation, keeping in mind the expenditure trend and committed liabilities.
The panel, headed by senior BJP MP M Venkaiah Naidu, said reduction in budgetary allocation for projects pertaining to paramilitary forces would not be good in the interest of national security and asked the Home Ministry to take up the matter strongly with the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry.

The Home Ministry's remarks came after the committee said there was a reduction of Rs 2,525.16 crore under plan head and Rs 5,984.66 crore under non-plan head against the amount projected by the ministry.

The ministry had projected a budget of Rs 6,088.22 crore under plan head and Rs 41,272.96 crore under non-plan head.

The panel said the 2013-14 budget estimates have seen an increase of 17.65 per cent compared to revised estimates of 2012-13 and 9.34 per cent over budget estimates of 2012-13.

However, the committee added, it apprehends that the "overall marginal increase will only take care of inflationary pressure and many not be able to maintain the tempo of development of infrastructure and implementation of plans and schemes, which have already been affected by the reduction in allocation due to austerity measure in revised estimates of 2012-13".

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