Indian Defence Ministry happy with more funds assurance from Pranab

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - Giving a thumbs up to the substantial raise in defence Budget by 11.6 percent, Defence Minister A. K. Antony today expressed his happiness over the assurance given by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that there would be no dearth of money for important acquisitions in the defence sector if required.

The Defence Budget has been increased to Rs 1,64,415 crore for 2011-12 from last year’s Rs 1,47,344 crore.

“By large we are happy about the budget. Apart from the allocation, Finance Minister has declared on the floor of the house if defence needs more money throughout any problem, they have assured assurances there,’ Antony said on Tuesday.

“So, if we can spend more money on important acquisitions, I am sure we get more money also. On the whole we are happy with the assurance that if we want more we will get more also,” he added.

Of the total outlay, Rs 69,199 crore has been allocated for the acquisition of modern and new weapon systems.

With several big defence deals to likely to be finalised in 2011, the capital expenditure for the armed forces has been increased by Rs 8,366 crore from Rs 60,833 to Rs 69,199 crore.

The 13.75 percent hike in capital expenditure has been made keeping in mind the big deals to procure 126 multi-role combat aircraft, 197 light helicopters, 145 Ultra-light Howitzers and C-17 heavy-lift aircraft.

These deals are likely to be signed this year.

From the Rs 69,199 crore capital outlay, the Army got around Rs 18,988 crore, Navy Rs 5,688 crore, Naval Fleet Rs 7,320 crore and Air Force Rs 29,722 crore.

The largest share of the increased capital expenditure would go to the IAF, which will spend Rs 22,055 crore for procuring fighter and transport aircraft and helicopters of different types and origin in this decade. (ANI)

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