Fund crunch in the Indian Army; may cut 1.5 lakh jobs to buy weapons

Reportedly, the army has been facing severe fund crunch. In June, a report stated despite its total requirement of 800,000 rifles, the army had placed an order for only 250,000 modern assault rifles

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
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NH Web Desk

According to media reports, the Indian Army is planning to cut around 1.5 lakh jobs to buy modern weapons.

An NDTV report said that the job cuts will help the army in saving around Rs 7,000 crore. Currently, 83 per cent or Rs 1.28 lakh crore of the army's total budget goes towards its revenue expenses - day-to-day running costs and salaries. This does not include the army's annual pension pay out which is independently accounted for. Just 17 per cent of the budget, Rs 26,826 crore, goes towards capital expenditure - a figure the army finds wholly unsatisfactory. By shedding flab over the next few years and adding up to Rs 7,000 crore, the army may be able to raise its capital budget to between Rs 31,826 and Rs 33,826 crore.

The Indian Army has been facing severe fund crunch. In June, a report said that despite its total requirement of 800,000 rifles, the army had placed an order for only 250,000 modern assault rifles.

However, sources in the army have clarified that the proposal to reduce manpower is still to be accepted and that there was no question of laying off serving officers and soldiers as 60,000 personnel retire from the army every year

Earlier in March, then Vice Chief of the Army, Lt General Sarath Chand had said to a parliamentary panel, "The state today is that 68 per cent of our equipment is in the vintage category with just about 24 per cent in the current and 8 per cent in the state-of-the-art category."

He added, "Allocation of Rs 21,338 crore for modernisation is insufficient even to cater for committed payment of Rs 29,033 crore for 125 on-going schemes and emergency procurements."

However, several sources in the army have made it clear that the proposal to decrease manpower has not been accepted yet and none of the serving officers and soldiers would be laid off as 60,000 personnel retire from the army every year. If the proposal is accepted, it would only mean that the Army would reduce those on its payroll by reducing its annual recruitment over a few years.

"Merging of some verticals and rationalising roles are likely to result in cutting 50,000 troops over the next two years. A reduction of 100,000 more personnel may be possible by 2022-23. But all this is in the study phase right now," a military official was quoted as saying by HT.

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