New technologies that the country’s defence research laboratories plan to develop will be hit if the outlay for their research is not increased, the country’s top defence scientist has said.
In recent years, the Defence Research and Development Organisation had been feeling the funds crunch as its annual budget remained at Rs. 10,000 crore or 5.4 per cent of the overall defence outlay, said its Director-General Avinash Chander, who is also the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, here on Thursday.
A new weapons system would need about 10 years. “So we need to fund them today and that is where we feel the pinch.”
He was responding to questions about the spending cut imposed across the board by the Finance Ministry to contain the fiscal deficit.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ninth annual International Radar Symposium India 2013, co-hosted by DRDO and radar developer and user community, he said, “If you want a real growth of indigenous capabilities, you need to have 8-9 per cent of the defence budget marked as R&D. Otherwise you will continue to import.”
He expected the situation to get better next year. “Fortunately, all levels where we have conveyed our concerns agree on this.”