Data

Data | Is the Indian Army spending enough on modernising its equipment?

Indian army soldiers keep guard in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Picture for representational purposes.

Indian army soldiers keep guard in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Picture for representational purposes.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pensions and salaries together form about 76% of the Army’s budget, leaving little room for modernisation of weaponry and technology

The Indian Army is estimated to spend more on pensions than salaries in FY21. Pensions and salaries together form about 76% of the Army’s budget. Such a high wage bill leaves little for the Army to spend on upgradation of equipments and weaponry.

 

A slow-paced growth of the modernisation budget meant that only 8% of the Army’s equipments were state-of-the-art as of 2018.

Wage bill

The share of pensions in the defence budget increased to 28.4% in FY21 from 20.5% in FY16. The share of salaries, the biggest component of defence expenditure, has see-sawed over the years. The graph traces the share of pensions and salaries in the defence budget.

Salaries vs Pensions

image/svg+xml 34 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 2015-16 2017-18 2020-21 (BE) SALARIES (%) PENSIONS (%)

Share of pension

The table lists the share of various components in the FY21 budget for all the three armed forces. For instance, 38.1% of the Army’s FY21 budget was allocated for pensions. The significant wage bill meant that only about 9% was set aside for modernisation of the Army.

Breaking down the Defence Budget

image/svg+xml Category Army Air Force Navy Pensions 38.1 15 12 Salaries 37.5 21 21 Modernisation 8.8 45 40 Maintenance 6.2 11 11 Others 9.5 8 16

Slow pace

The expenditure on modernisation of the Army has grown at an annual average rate of 8% between 2010-11 and 2020-21. The graph shows the Army’s modernisation expenditure in ₹ crore.

Army's modernisation expenditure

image/svg+xml 30,000 20,000 10,000 2010-11 2012-13 2014-15 2016-17 2018-19 2020-21

Age distribution of weapons

Close to 70% of the Army’s equipments and weapons are “vintage”, while the Standing Committee on Defence (2018) recommended that only 33.3% should belong to that category.

Vintage, current or state-of-the-art?

image/svg+xml 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Vintage Current State-of-the-art Ideal mix of weapons (%) Actual mix (%) Only 8% of the Army’s equipment belong to the state-of-the-art category, while the committee recommends 33.3%

Source: PRS Legislative Research.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:37:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-is-the-indian-army-spending-enough-on-modernising-its-equipment/article30914534.ece

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