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  India   All India  13 Apr 2019  Unutilised defence budget is not to be sent back: Nirmala Sitharaman

Unutilised defence budget is not to be sent back: Nirmala Sitharaman

PTI
Published : Apr 13, 2019, 1:25 am IST
Updated : Apr 13, 2019, 1:25 am IST

Defence minister makes ‘clear demand’ to finance ministry over issue.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo: PTI )
 Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo: PTI )

New Delhi: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said her ministry has made a “clear demand” to the finance ministry that once defence Budget is allocated, the unutilised part of it not be sent back to consolidated fund.

She was addressing a gathering after releasing reports on indigenous research and development and cyber security, prepared by think tank Vivekanada International Foundation (VIF) here.

“The long-term perspective plan (in defence sector) is becoming a rolling long-term perspective plan,” she said.

She also said that sometimes what is budgeted for doesn’t happen that year, so the unutilised money goes back to the consolidated fund, and the next year when it matures, one is “still grappling” because of the “patchy way we planned”.

“But, we will ensure, and we have talked with the finance ministry... And made a clear demand to it that once a defence budget is allocated, the unutilised part shall not go back to the consolidated funds.

“And the committed exp-enditure whichever year they may happen, will ha-ppen from this fund which will probably get accumulated,” the minister said.

The MoD has made sure the negotiation with the finance ministry is happening, she said.

“I can confidently say there is a positive response from the finance ministry. But we are close to the election time, so we have to wait for the new government to come. This is something on which there is a clear understanding between the finance ministry and us (defence ministry), so can only see it happening in the near future,” she said.

The defence minister also said the ministry officials are interacting with members of the industry, and the priority would be to make sure officials work together with the industry to meet quality and standard, and if only the ministry is convinced, the order is made.  

Tags: nirmala sitharaman, defence budget