Modernisation of the three armed forces is our first priority: CDS Bipin Rawat

Expressing his point of view on the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said that he will make optimum utilisation of the budget, and prioritise on the procurement of equipment keeping in mind “balanced modernisation” of three services.

Moreover, he said that the requirement for more funds will be conveyed to the government if he feels that there is an urgent need for it.

Sharing his views on the Defence pension, Rawat said, ‘I ‘ll give high priority to pension management through an increase in age of retirement progressively in the 3 services keeping in mind the operational requirements of different arms and services.”

The Union Budget for 2020-21 had allocated Rs 3,37,553 crore for Defence (excluding Defence pension). There is an increase of Rs 40,367.21 crore in the total Defence allocations (Rs 4,71,378 crore) including Defence Pension over the financial year 2019-20.

Total defence budget accounts for 15.49 per cent of the total central government expenditure for the year 2020-21.  Former Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat was named as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on December 30.

The Union Cabinet last month approved setting up of Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence to be headed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) having the rank of a 4-Star General.

The CDS acts as the Principal Military Adviser to Defence Minister on tri-Services matters. The three Chiefs will continue to advise the Defence Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective Services.

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