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Defence allocation jumps 13% to Rs 5.94L cr in Budget 2023-24

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) The Union Budget 2023-24, which was presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, allocated Rs 5.94 lakh crore for the defence sector, marking a hike of 13 per cent over previous year’s layout of Rs 5.25 lakh crore.

The Union Budget 2023-24 envisaged a total outlay of Rs 45,03,097 crore. Of this, the Ministry of Defence has been allocated a total budget of Rs 5,93,537.64 crore, which is 13.18 per cent of the total Budget.

This includes an amount of Rs 1,38,205 crore for defence pensions. The total defence budget represents an enhancement of Rs 68,371.49 crore (13 per cent) over the Budget of 2022-23.

The capital budget for BRO was enhanced by 43 per cent to Rs 5,000 crore; at Rs 23,264 crore, allocation to DRDO increased by 9 per cent, while iDEX got Rs 116 crore, an enhancement of 93 per cent over 2022-23, to further foster innovation.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the Union Budget as growth-oriented, saying it will help achieve the government’s goal of making India a $5 trillion economy within a few years.

“The armed forces have to be battle-ready to meet any eventuality. Towards that end, non-salary revenue outlay has been enhanced significantly from Rs 62,431 crore in Budget Estimates (BE) 2022-23 to Rs 90,000 crore in BE 2023-24, representing a 44 per cent jump. This expenditure is expected to close critical gaps in the combat capabilities and equip the forces in terms of ammunition, sustenance of weapons & assets, military reserves etc. This Budget has also sustained the thrust on modernisation and infrastructure development of the defence services, by continuing an upward trend in capital outlay,” the Budget document read.