2 minute readDefense proposal caught in red tape

New Delhi: Four years into India’s 11th five-year plan, the defense ministry’s proposals are still stuck in bureaucratic red tape and hence it has given up hope of getting them approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), a parliamentary committee has been informed.

In the committee’s report on budgetary demands for grants for 2011-12 submitted to the Lok Sabha (Indian Lower House of Parliament) Wednesday, the defense ministry has told the committee that differences with the finance ministry on its plan size had led to it not being finalized yet.

The defense ministry had finalized its 11th Defense Plan for 2007-12 and sent it to the finance ministry in July 2006. It was expected that once the finance ministry and the defense ministry mutually agree to the plan size, it would be brought before the CCS.

“However, the same could not be finalized due to difference of opinion between the defense ministry and the finance ministry on the plan size,” the defense ministry’s written reply to the parliamentary committee on the status of its 11th plan and the impact of its non-finalization.

“It was therefore decided to not pursue the matter further,” the defense ministry said.

It also noted that its budget projections for 2011-12, the last year of the 11th five-year plan, was made by the defense ministry on the basis of projections from the armed forces and departments of the ministry.

“Meanwhile, capital acquisitions are being made as per the annual acquisition plans of the services, which are based on the defense plan, subject to availability of budgetary allocations,” it said.

“Practically, there has been no impact on the process of modernization in the absence of CCS/finance ministry approved 11th plan. The services have been provided with funds for their needs,” the ministry added.

The government has allocated INR 1,64,415 crore for defense in 2011-12 fiscal, of which Rs.69,198 crore is for capital expenditure and the rest INR 95,217 crore for revenue expenditure.

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