New Delhi: Union Government has significantly enhanced the capital outlay of defence organisations like Border Road Organisation (BRO) in the defence budget 2022 amid continuing tension with China on the Northern front highlighting the need for better infrastructure. Overall, the capital segment of the Ministry of Defence (Civil) budget catering to these important organisations has seen a momentous jump of over 55 percent from Rs 5,173 crore last financial year to Rs 8,050 crore in FY 2022-23.
To boost border infrastructure Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has enhanced the capital budget of BRO by 40 percent to Rs 3,500 crore in FY 2022-23 as compared to Rs 2,500 crore in FY 2021-22. The increased budget shall expedite the progress of the creation of border infrastructure including important tunnels such as the Sela and Naechiphu tunnel and bridges on major river gaps.
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) get a significant increase
To further strengthen the Coastal Security, the capital budget of the Indian Coast Guard has been increased by about 60 percent to Rs 4,246 crore in FY 2022-23. It was Rs 2,650 crore in FY 2021-22. This increase in budgetary outlay shall facilitate the acquisition of ships and aircraft, augmentation of infrastructure, the establishment of coastal security network and building up technical and administrative support structures.
The capital outlay for DGDE, the custodian of defence land across the country, has been provisioned Rs 173.03 crore and Rs 131.08 crore for Budget Estimates (BE) 2022-23 and Revised Estimates (RE) 2021-22, respectively. This will be mainly spent for the construction of boundary posts, pillars and perimeter fencing of Defence Land in order to prevent encroachment on Defence Land.
Handholding newly crafted Defence PSUs
Giving further impetus to Aatm Nirbharata or self-reliance in the defence sector, newly created seven defence public sector undertakings ( defence PSUs) has been allotted an outlay of Rs 1,310 crore in BE 2022-23 and Rs 1,665 crore in RE 2021-22 for their planned modernisation. Besides, the Union Budget has set aside an additional amount of Rs 2,500 crore in BE 2022-23 and also in RE 2021-22 as Emergency Authorization Fund.
In a major reform in the defence sector in October last year, the Government created these seven Defence PSUs through the restructuring of the Ordinance Factory Board that had 41 factories and 9 ancillary bodies across the country to produce small arms, artillery guns, anti-aircraft guns, rockets, bombs, leather equipment for the soldiers, tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and mine protected vehicles.
The seven defence PSUs are – The Yantra India Limited, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Ltd., India Optel Ltd., Troops Comforts Ltd., Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Ltd, Gliders India Ltd., and Munitions India Ltd. The government’s reform under the Make in India initiative is intended to ensure efficiency, better quality, competitiveness, reduce imports and boost exports in defence production.
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