01 February 2017
India’s disruptive cash ban may prevent Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from using this week’s Budget to quicken the pace of the country’s much-needed military modernisation.
With economists slashing India’s 2016 growth estimates because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to eradicate 86 per cent of India’s currency in circulation, analysts doubt India’s armed forces will get an increase beyond the bare minimum.
While India’s soldiers leak videos of grim conditions on the front line of the country’s decades-long conflict with Pakistan, extra Budget stimulus for defence is not likely.
… “It’s not enough,” said Mr Anit Mukherjee, a former Indian Army major who is now an assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “It’s not just about increasing Budget numbers, it’s also about using the cash wisely.” Mr Mukherjee said one of the main problems is that Budget increases are eaten up each year by the army’s increased manpower costs, which come at the expense of capital expenditures that could be used for modernisation.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 01/02/2017