India: To meet the urgent requirements of the Armed Forces, the central government might have to hike the defence budget once again for the financial year 2021-22.
According to a report by Dainik Jagran, looking at the double threat from China and Pakistan at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Line of Control (LoC), the Centre might hike the defence budget for the second straight year. The report also claimed that the Centre will focus on procuring ‘Make in India’ products for the Armed Forces in the upcoming financial year.
Last year, the Centre had also announced an embargo on the import of 101 defence items, including armoured vehicles, assault rifles, missiles, etc. to make India ‘self-reliant’ in the defence sector. It had also raised the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the defence sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent under the automatic route.
The Centre had also hiked the defence budget Union Budget 2020 by six per cent from Rs 3.18 lakh crore to Rs 3.37 lakh crore. With that, the total budget for the defence sector increased to Rs 4.7 lakh crore.
While hiking the defence budget, the central government had said that Rs 1,10,734 crore was allocated to Armed Forces for modernisation and buying new weapon systems, which was Rs 10, 340 crore more than what was provided in 2019.
“National security has always been the top priority of the government,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said while delivering the budget speech in the Parliament last year.