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China threat: Big hike in navy budget

India is focussed on building maritime power to meet the threats of Chinese PLA Navy in the Indian Ocean.

Published: 03rd February 2022 08:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2022 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

Navy ships. (Representational file photo)

Navy ships. (Representational file photo)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  India is focussed on building maritime power to meet the threats of Chinese PLA Navy in the Indian Ocean. This reflected in the major fund allocation to the Indian Navy. China has been steadily increasing its number of ships and submarines.

The Ministry of Defence had highlighted this in a statement on Tuesday, “Underlining the importance of overall maritime security, the Capital Budget of Indian Navy has been enhanced by 44.53%, with a total allocation of Rs 46,323 crore for FY 2022-23. This increase is aimed at acquisition of new platforms, creation of operational and strategic infrastructure, bridging of critical capability gaps and building a credible maritime force.”

Significantly, the major increase has been for the Naval Fleet category, from Rs 16,000 crore to Rs 29,452 crore. This category includes ships and submarines. For Indian Air Force, increase of capital allocation is 4.46% (Rs 53,214.77 cr to Rs 55,586.65), while Indian Army saw a cut of around 12% (Rs 36,482 cr to Rs 32,015.3 cr) as compared to last year.

Sources confirmed that this allocation is in line with the threat in Indian Ocean. Speaking at the Navy Chief’s annual press conference in December, Admiral Hari Kumar had said Indian Navy keeps Chinese ships under close surveillance. As per figures given by him, Chinese Navy had built 138 ships in the last 10 years and in terms of naval assets, it had emerged as the largest navy globally.

It was highlighted by the Navy Chief that while India has 130 ships and submarines, it wants to develop a 170-ship force, but there has been a tweak under the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan. The committed liabilities of the Navy include a Rs 43,000 crore project to build six conventional submarines in India. It is pushing for building a second aircraft carrier. The first one, Vikrant, is expected to be commissioned this year.

The government has also allocated extra capital funds to the Indian Coast Guard. It has been enhanced by 60.24%, to Rs 4,246 crore from Rs 2,650 crore. The  Ministry of Defence has been allocated a total budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crore.



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