Taking a dig at India’s defence expenditure which was lowest compared to countries like China and Pakistan in terms of GDP, a Parliamentary panel said there was an urgent need to build defence capabilities to fight a ‘two-front war’.
The panel highlighted huge gaps between the required and existing force levels in it’s report which also included that there was a need to allocate adequate budget for the three armed forces as the country was surrounded by difficult neighbours.
The Air Force currently has 34 fighter squadrons against the sanctioned strength of 42 and the number is likely to reduce further to 31 during the 12th Plan period.
India’s defence expenditure as compared to some of the European and neighbouring countries indicate that the defence expenditure as percentage of GDP in India is lowest as compared to US,China,Pakistan, Russia and France.
The Committee said military expenditure in terms of percentage of GDP in all these countries except Pakistan is increasing over the years.
The Committee also expressed concern over the fact that of the Rs 66,032 crore allocated for capital acquisitions in 2012-13, only Rs 5,520 crore would be available for new acquisition projects as the remaining would be used for committed liabilities.
The total outlay for defence in the budget for 2012-13 is Rs 1,93,407 crore.