National

Parliamentary committee pulls up Defence Ministry

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has made serious observations on the limited budgetary allocations made by the Ministry of Defence for the armed forces, which do not even meet the requirements.

“... the amount allocated under the capital budget for 2018-19 does not even fulfil the Ministry of Defence’s obligations towards committed liabilities,” it said in the action taken report by the government on the recommendations/observations in the 41st report, which was presented in Parliament on Monday.

The Ministry of Defence projected a requirement of ₹1,72,203.30 crore, including ₹1,10,043.78 crore for committed liabilities and ₹31,434.88 crore for new schemes. However, only ₹93,982.13 crore was allocated by the Ministry of Finance.

The reduced allocation might push back payments to vendors for committed liabilities, which in turn might lead to litigation and an additional interest burden, the report said. The shortfall, it added, left no scope for any impetus to the modernisation of the services.

In its response, the the Ministry of Defence said: “This Ministry is bound by the budgetary ceilings conveyed by the Ministry of Finance. The reduced allocations were passed on uniformly to all the services.”

The committee “fervently” urged the Ministry to ensure that the allocations to the services under the capital head were appropriately increased, at the revised estimate stage, so as to “enable our services to fulfil their committed liabilities and meet the requirements of exemplary operational preparedness.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 3:43:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliamentary-committee-pulls-up-defence-ministry/article25943820.ece

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