New Delhi: The modernisation plan of the armed forces will not be affected by the reduction in the defence budget in the current year, the government told Lok Sabha on Monday.
In written reply, Defence Minister AK Antony said that an increase of 9 percent is proposed in the Capital budget for 2013-14 as compared to Budget Estimates of 2012-13.
"This is considered reasonable to meet the estimated requirement of the next financial year. The reduced allocation in the case of Revised Estimate 2012-13 is also considered sufficient given the progress of modernisation schemes," he said.
Antony was asked whether the modernisation plan of the defence forces is likely to be adversely affected as a result of slashing of the defence budget.
On whether the government has curtailed the budget of armed forces considerably, the Defence Minister said that it has been done in view of the need to curtail expenditure to contain the fiscal deficit.
"It has been proposed to reduce the allocation in the current financial year by Rs 4903.77 crore under the Revenue segment and Rs 10,000 crore under Capital in the Revised Estimates 2012-13.
"This has been done in view of the need to curtail expenditure to contain the fiscal deficit, after taking into account the progress of approval of schemes and utilisation of available budget," he said.
However, he said that there is a 5.31 percent increase in the budgetary allocation for the next fiscal.
"Budgetary allocation of Rs 2,03,672.12 crore is proposed for Budget Estimates (BE) of 2013-14 in respect of the Defence Services, as against BE 2012-13 allocation of Rs. 1,93,407.29 crore. This represents an increase of 5.31 percent," he said.
In reply to a separate question on corruption in defence deals, Antony said suitable action is taken against the vendors and persons found guilty in such cases.
"Whenever any allegation of corruption in defence deals in received, the same is examined by the ministry and wherever necessary, the case is referred to the appropriate agency for investigation. Suitable action is also taken against the vendors and persons found guilty in such cases," he said.