NEW DELHI: India has spent a whopping Rs 2.42 lakh crore in the last four years in procuring weapons systems and other military hardware to boost its defence preparedness.
Out of the total capital expenditure, procurement from foreign companies totalled Rs 1.05 lakh crore while the volume of purchase from Indian vendors was Rs 1.37 lakh crore.
The year-wise data of capital expenditure on military procurement from 2013-14 to December of the current fiscal was given by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre while replying to a question in Lok Sabha.
The total expenditure in 2013-14 was Rs 66,821 crore, Rs 65,583 crore in 2014-15 and it was Rs 62,341 crore in 2015-16. Rs 47,494 crore was spent on purchase of weapons system till December of 2016-17. Bhamre said the government is pursuing several measures to realise progressively higher levels of indigenisation and self-reliance in the defence sector. He said 12 agreements have been concluded for procurement of defence equipment from the US in the last three years.
Referring to procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, he said the scheduled delivery of the aircraft is from September, 2019 to April, 2022.
As per data given by him, the government spent a total of Rs 1.22 lakh crore since 2013-14, in modernisation of Indian Air Force.
Replying to another question, he said a detailed project report on establishment of an aerospace university has been approved by the board of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
To a separate question, the Minister said a committee set up last year to examine military procurement has recommended creation of a "central, autonomous and empowered" organisation to build up indigenous defence capability.
The Minister said the Government has recently approved a Defence Innovation Fund (DIF) with initial funding by two defence PSUs -- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and HAL. The fund aims at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in defence.