The newly established Defence Planning Committee headed by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval conducted an inaugural meet on Thursday. In this meet, the defence panel decided to give a push to military purchases.
— Defence News (@defence_news) May 4, 2018
As per a statement issued by the Defence Ministry, the meeting deliberated upon the geo-strategic landscape and also agreed on chalking out a time-bound action so as to keep up with its broad mandate. Headed by NSA Ajit Doval, the meeting was attended by 3 Service Chiefs.
Apart from these, the members of the newly appointed panel were also present at the occasion. These included Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Expenditure secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt. Gen. Satish Dua, and Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale among others.
The defence planning committee was formed just last month and has been assigned to drive India’s military and security strategy, draft capability development plans, and guide as well as accelerate defence equipment acquisitions.
The committee has to work in line with PM Modi’s vision of modernizing India’s armed forces and the aging war equipment. As the panel operates under PMO, it has been asked to define the Indian military objectives amid rising internal and external security challenges whereby the neighborhood is heavily militarized.
It’s important to note that the panel was formed after reports of discontentment with the budget allocation. Reportedly, a sum of INR 2.95 Lakh Crores was allotted for the defence which is roughly 1.58% of the country’s GDP. That’s when Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Sarath Chand told the Parliamentary Panel that the budget won’t be sufficient even for ‘Make in India’ projects.
Several other concerns were put forth regarding the upgradation of existing equipment and the prospect of Future Ready Combat Vehicle. In another development, it was recently revealed that India has joined countries like China and US to become one of the top 5 defence spenders. However, a major portion of this money is spent on the remuneration of defence personnel.