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Union Budget 2021: Developments around LAC, LOC warrant hike in allocation in defence outlay – India News , Firstpost


Due to the key developments in the scenario around LAC and LOC in the previous yr, the defence funds for 2021 is anticipated to go up.

File picture of LCA Tejas. Image credit: HAL web site/ANI

Year 2020 noticed a exceptional starting with the 11th version of Defence Expo at Lucknow from 5-8 February 2020. Over 200 partnerships involving the signing of memorandum of understandings (MoUs), switch of expertise and product launches came about on the third day of DefExpo-2020 at a ceremony known as Bandhan.

Among these MoUs signed, 23 of them have been by Uttar Pradesh authorities. The Bandhan ceremony witnessed greater than 13 product launches, 124 MoUs between DPSUs, personal and international defence manufacturing firms.

Given India’s geopolitical scenario, the expectations from the Defence Budget for FY 2020-21 have been fairly excessive. However, it was a routine allocation of Rs 3,37,553 crore (excluding Defence Pension). Out of Rs 3,37,553 crore, Rs 2,18,998 crore is for the Revenue (Net) expenditure and Rs 1,18,555 crore is for capital expenditure for the Defence Services and the organisations/departments beneath the Ministry of Defence.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, a number of international locations went beneath nationwide lockdown. India, too, was beneath a nationwide lockdown from 24 March until 14 April 2020. Though lockdown restrictions continued to ease with every section, it impacted the financial system adversely. As a outcome, the Ministry of Finance on 8 April 2020 launched an order itemizing spending and money stream administration of every ministry.

For the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the order put a cap of 20 % to defence capital, defence providers and defence pensions. Such measures additional solidified the understanding that in a submit-COVID world, self-reliance might be a necessity. Hence, on 12 May 2020, the Government of India (GoI) gave a clarion name of Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India.

As a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojna, the GoI introduced a number of reforms in eight sectors as a part of the stimulus bundle. These sectors are defence manufacturing, house, civil aviation, energy, atomic power, coal, minerals and social infrastructure. Reforms introduced beneath defence manufacturing are as follows:

Increase of FDI cap to as much as 74 % beneath computerized route: The formal revision of FDI
cap as per press observe 4 (2020 sequence) was issued by the DPIIT on 17 September 2020.

Setting up of Project Management Unit (PMU): The DAP 2020 mandates organising of a PMU to assist contract administration in order to usher in quicker choice making and time-certain defence acquisition course of.

Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB): The GoI has begun the method of the corporatisation of OFB.

Creation of a Capital Budget for home procurement: In August 2020, it was introduced that the MoD has bifurcated the capital procurement funds for 2020-21 between home and overseas capital procurement routes. A separate funds head has been created with an outlay of practically Rs 52,000 crore for home capital procurement in the present monetary yr.

Creation of a adverse checklist of import: A listing of 101 objects has been notified on which there
could be an embargo on the import past the timeline indicated in opposition to them.

Due to the key developments in the scenario around LAC and LOC in the previous yr, the defence funds for 2021 is anticipated to go up. Since the discharge of import embargo checklist, extra funds are anticipated to the targeted in direction of indigenous procurements to make India ‘self-reliant’ in defence sector. Today, self-reliance has change into a strategic requirement of the nation. It is essential to develop an industrial ecosystem for long run indigenous assist to Indian armed forces.

With main programmes in the pipeline, resembling 114 fighters for the air power, P 75I class submarines for Indian Navy, provider-primarily based fighters, armed UAVs, artillery modernisation for the military, the defence funds is anticipated to cater to such essential necessities of the armed forces. The Centre elevated the defence funds by roughly 6 % and the whole defence funds stood at Rs 4.7 lakh crore final yr and the identical or extra is anticipated to be the hike this yr.

The author is Director-Aerospace and Defence, EY India; and Indian Army veteran

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