Rearming The Armed Forces

The Kargil operations have undoubtedly stepped up the impetus for the defence ministry to look into the pressing demands of the three services to upgrade their arms and machines. The necessity to induct new weaponry, equipment and replenish existing stocks in order to give the defence services an authoritative stamp of a modern war machine, however, is a slow and taxing process. It is an area which requires urgent and crucial attention.

To begin with, planners in the defence establishment say, the defence budget needs to be hiked from its present low levels. Currently just 2.3 per cent of the gdp, they say it needs to be increased to at least 3 per cent. In other words, the defence budget needs an infusion of an additional Rs 20,000 crore every year for at least the next five to six years to make up for the poor allocation of funds to the services over the years. Currently, the defence budget is pegged at about Rs 41,200 crore.