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Posted at: Jan 2, 2019, 1:23 AM; last updated: Jan 2, 2019, 1:23 AM (IST)

Defence spend up in absolute terms, down percentage-wise

Defence spend up in absolute terms, down percentage-wise

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1

Giving numbers in Parliament on budgetary spending, the Ministry of Defence has admitted that the defence expenditure, as per percentage of the central government expenditure, has fallen, although it has gone up in absolute terms.

The defence expenditure, including pension, is budgeted at Rs 3,80,690 crore for the current fiscal. This is 17.16 per cent of the Central Government expenditure for the year. There has been a drop over the last year’s figure when defence consumed 19.11 per cent of all expenses and was budgeted at Rs 3,77,542 crore. In other words, the government added in rupee-terms for this year’s budget, but the ratio vis-à-vis total expenditure is down by 2 per cent.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhambre said “projections made by the Services are forwarded to the Ministry of Finance. Based on the overall resource position, funds are allocated”.

The MoD also informed that Capital Expenditure—meant for new projects—had gone up in absolute terms over the past few years.

Defence Capital expenditure is maintained around 34 per cent of the total allocations under the Defence Services estimates, which are Rs 2,79,305 crore (this figures is minus the pensions) for the current fiscal.

The allocated Capital budget has been fully utilised since 2016-17, reversing the previous trend, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

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