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India spending on Defence R&D far less than China, US: Parl Panel

The panel analysed the expenditure on R&D with the total defence expenditure of India and other developed countries

Wednesday March 16, 2022 10:14 PM, IANS

DRDO Budget

New Delhi: Amid increasing threat perception, India is far behind in terms expenditure on defence research and development compared to countries such as China and the US, a parliamentary panel said in its report on Wednesday.

The standing committee report on demands for grants for DRDO presented in the Parliament on Wednesday expressed concern that the percentage of expenditure for defence research and development in the overall GDP during the past years has seen no growth.

"In fact, the percentage was 0.088 per cent in 2016-17, which came down to 0.083 per cent in 2020-21," the report stated.

The panel analysed the expenditure on R&D with the total defence expenditure of India and other developed countries.

The report stated:

"Analysing the expenditure on R&D vis-a-vis total defence expenditure, it was found to be far less than other developed countries such as China, which is spending 20 per cent and the USA at 12 per cent of their respective budget on R&D in comparison to their defence budget."

 


The committee is of the view that given the current international scenario, where the threat perception is increasing due to the ongoing conflicts world over, it is essential to keep national security interest paramount.

Therefore, the panel recommended that adequate funding should be provided to defence research, so that strategic projects are taken up with full vigour.

Looking at the budgetary allocation of DRDO, the panel expressed its unhappiness. In 2022-2023, there is a shortfall of Rs 1659.80 crore in budgetary allocation to DRDO, the parliament panel pointed out in its report, stressing that it should lead to compromises in the operational needs and research and development activities of the organisation.

The report highlighted that over the years, the budget of DRDO has been around 5-6 per cent of the defence budget.

However, it is not increasing and is commensurate with the cost of inflation and also keeping in view the fact that a major amount goes towards expenses for strategic schemes and CCS projects and programmes, pay and allowances and other non-salary revenue expenditure, each of which essentially keeps growing every year.

In 2021-22, DRDO had projected an amount of Rs 23460.44 crore while the final allocation made was Rs 18,227.44 crore, which is short of the initial projection by Rs 5122.56 crore.

This allocation is even lesser than the Budget Estimate allocation for the year 2021-22.

In the Budget Estimate for 2022-23, DRDO has sought Rs 22,990 crore, whereas the allocation made is Rs 21,330.20 crore. Thus, there is a shortfall of Rs 1659.80 crore in allocation.

The panel said that cuts in budget allocation to DRDO should not lead to under compromises in the operational needs and R&D activities of the organisation.

The panel recommended that DRDO should seek additional funds at revised estimates, so that its research and development activities progress as per the timeline set.

 

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