New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Amid escalating tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the central government on Monday allocated Rs 4.78 lakh crore to Defence Budget to modernise the Armed Forces as it increased the capital outlay for the armed forces by nearly 19 per cent.

In the Union Budget 2021 presented by Nirmala Sitharaman, the Centre said that Rs 1.35 lakh crore has been allocated to Defence Ministry for purchase of new weapons while Rs 1.15 lakh crore has been allocated for payment of pensions.

Excluding the pension outgo, the total revenue expenditure, which includes expenses on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments, has been pegged at Rs 2.12 lakh crore.

"Defence Budget consists of three component - revenue, pension and capital component. The Budget allocation (for the capital component) in 2020-21 was Rs 1,13,734 crores. It has gone to Rs 1,35,060 crores which is an increase of 20 per cent," TV Somanathan, Secretary, Expenditure said, as reported by news agency ANI.

Lauding Finance Ministry's decision, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sitharaman. He also expressed happiness over Sitharaman's budget proposal to open 100 new Sainik schools.

"People hadn't expected a Budget of this kind because, in a way, the government had presented 5 mini-budgets earlier. Several packages were announced, of which Aatmanirbhar Bharat is also a part. It's a superb Budget. The more it is praised, the less it is," Rajnath said, as reported by ANI.

Meanwhile, military experts expressed satisfaction on the overall allocation considering the adverse impact of the coronavirus-triggered pandemic on the economy. However, they said that India will have to gradually increase defence spending to deal with increasing external threats.

"I am satisfied with the total allocation to the armed forces considering the state of the economy in view of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic," said Dr Laxman Behera of the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, as reported by news agency PTI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma