Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden Union Budget in Lok Sabha on Friday. While the Union Budget 2019 focussed on increased government reform in several sectors, including taxation and housing, there was a blink-and-miss mention of the defence sector since the financial outlay wasn't mentioned. The Finance Minister kept the financial outlay for the defence sector constant as it was in the Interim Budget.
An allocation of Rs 3.18 lakh crore was made in the Union Budget to the defence sector for 2019-20 as against last year’s Rs 2.98 lakh crore. Out of the total allocation, Rs 1,08,248 crore has been set aside for capital outlay to purchase new weapons, platforms and military hardware.
The revenue expenditure which includes expenses on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments has been pegged at Rs 2,10,682 crore as against Rs 1,88,118 crore for 2018-19.
The outlay for defence sector almost remained unchanged compared to what was allocated in the interim budget on February 1.
The allocation of Rs 3,18,931 represents a growth of 7.93 per cent over budget estimates of Rs 2.95 lakh crore and 6.87 per cent over revised estimates Rs 2.98 lakh crore respectively for 2018-19, according to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s office.
The total outlay does not include Rs 1,12,079 crore set aside separately for payment of pensions. If allocation for pension is included, then the total outlay for defence stands at Rs 4.31 lakh crore which accounts for 15.47 per cent of the total central government expenditure for the year 2019-20.
“The capital allocation of Ministry of Defence under BE (budget estimate) 2019-20 is 31.97 per cent of the total Central government capital expenditure, which is Rs 3,38,569.00 crore,” Singh’s office tweeted.