New Delhi: At a time when the defence budget has seen a hike of 6 per cent from Rs 3.18 lakh crore to Rs 3.37 lakh crore in the Union Budget 2020, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday expressed confidence that the defence force will continue to be modernised notwithstanding what budget allocations are made. He said the Army had last year inducted 4-5 different types of weapon systems and platforms.
“We will continue to modernise notwithstanding what budget allocations are made. Last year itself we had inducted 4-5 different types of weapon systems and platforms. Modernisation has never been an issue,” he added.
Further talking about the defence budget allocation, Naravane said he will study on how to make full use of it. “We have seen a modest increase of about 8% year on year, we will be studying how to manage this budget and how to make full use of it,” he added.
The statement from the Army Chief comes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday presented the Union Budget 2020 in which the defence budget was hiked from Rs 3.18 lakh crore to Rs 3.37 lakh crore.
In an effort to modernise and buying new weapon systems, the defence forces have been allocated Rs 1,10,734 crore which is Rs 10,340 more than what was provided in last year’s budget.
He also stated that the report presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in Parliament on Monday regarding condition of troops in high altitude areas was a little outdated and stressed that every jawan who goes to Siachen gets personal clothing worth approximately Rs 1 lakh.
“That CAG report pertains to the year 2015-16. So it is not the report of the present times. It is a little outdated in that sense. But I would like to assure you that as of today — 2020, we are very well prepared,” he said while speaking to reporters here.