A parliamentary panel today rapped the government for lower allocation of funds to the DRDO, saying it has forced the organisation to put on hold some its "major projects involving futuristic technology".
A parliamentary panel today rapped the government for lower allocation of funds to the DRDO, saying it has forced the organisation to put on hold some its “major projects involving futuristic technology”. It also said that due to the cut in the budget for the ordnance factories, they were not able to produce the equipment as per the orders placed by the army. The Standing Committee on Defence said during 2016-17, the projected demand for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) was Rs 18,782.86 crore. In the Budgetary Estimate (BE), the DRDO was marked Rs 13,593.78 crore.
Similarly, in 2015-16, the BE allocation was Rs 14,358.49 crore, but in the Revised Estimate (RE) it went down to Rs 12,491.21 crore. The difference between the BE and RE was a sizable Rs 1,867.28 crore. “The committee note that out of total defence budget, the share of DRDO was 5.79 per cent in 2011-12, which reduced to 5.34 per cent in 2013-14. “The BE for 2016-17 was 5.46 per cent of the defence budget,” the panel said in its report, which was tabled before the Lok Sabha today.
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Expressing concern over the “inadequate” budgetary support for the on going projects and revenue commitments, it said, “major projects involving futuristic technology have been put on hold”. It also added that the cut in budgetary allocation for the DRDO has an effect of “jeopardising the scientific and technological base” of the defence forces. The committee also highlighted the issue of lesser allocation for ordnance factories that manufactures arms for the forces.
It also termed as “sorry state of affairs” the wide gap between the BE and the RE. For instance, the BE in 2015-16 was Rs 3,644.30 crore, but in the RE it was allocated Rs 1,752.53 crore. “This is a sorry state of affairs. The cut applied at the RE stage and mismatch between the projections and actual allocations, Ordnance Factories Board could not produce the equipment as per the orders placed by the army,” the committee said in its report. “This is reflective of the helplessness of Ordnance Factories,” it said.