The Budget allocation for 2018-19 has “dashed the hopes” of the Army and the marginal increase is barely enough to meet inflation as 68% of the force’s equipment falls in the “vintage category”, Army Vice Chief Lt General Sarath Chand has told a parliamentary standing committee on defence.In the oral deposition to the Parliamentary panel, the Vice Chief said the allocation of Rs 21,338 crore for modernisation is way below the committed payments of Rs 29,033.Highlighting the need for more funds, he said typically any modern force should have its equipment divided in one-third each covering all categories of vintage, current and state-of-the-art.”The state today is 68% vintage, 24% current and 8% in state-of-the-art category,” he said.He also pointed out that the Army was falling short of funds for its 25 ‘Make in India’ projects. “As a result, many of these may end up foreclosed.”‘Make in India’ is an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow foreign industries to set up domestic manufacturing units.The Vice-Chief also pointed out that strategic roads at the China border and other infrastructure projects are getting affected due to shortage of funds by more than Rs 900 crore.The committee in its report stated that the Vice-Chief was “candid” in his submission.”The Committee was particularly alarmed to note from his oral evidence that although the Ministry of Defence had delegated financial powers up to R 14,097 crore to the Vice Chief towards security-related issues, there was no separate allocation for this.”The committee observed that due to no allocation under this head, the Ministry of Defence is left with no option but to reduce resources for security of military stations or compromise other acquisitions.

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Budget dashed hopes of the Army, says Vice Chief Lt General Sarath Chand