Vice Chief of Indian army slams Modi government on budget allocations


The Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Sarath Chand has slammed the poor budgetary allocations for the army for 2018-19 calling it inadequate. Lt Gen Chand also warned that this will severely affect several ongoing projects undertaken by the Indian army.

Vice Chief

In his oral deposition to the parliamentary standing committee on defence, Lt Gen Chand said, “Budget has dashed our hopes, most of what has been achieved has actually received setback. To highlight a few cases, the marginal increase in BE barely accounts for the inflation and does not even cater for the taxes. Allocation of Rs 21,338 crore for modernisation is insufficient even to cater for committed payment of 29,033 crore for 125 on-going schemes.

“We in Army have identified as many as 25 projects for Make in India. However, There is not adequate budget to support this. As a result of which, many of these may end up foreclosed.”

Lt Gen Chand also added that ‘typically, any modern armed forces should have one-third of forces, one-third of its equipment in the vintage category, one-third in the current category and one third in the state of the art category.’

He went on to add, “In the army, we are looking forward to manufacturing the future ready combat vehicles, FRCVs, and FICVs, Future Infantry Combat Vehicles through these schemes. However, with the kind of budgest that has been allocated, this may get delayed by a few years. I am not sure what’s going to be their future.”

If Lt General Chand’s deposition was not damaging enough, the defence panel noted that “a representative of the army submitted while deposing before the Committee that taking into consideration, the possibility of a ‘two-front war,’  it is of utmost importance to remain conscious and pay due attention to modernization and bridging the deficiencies.”

It added, “Much to the distress of the Committee, however, they have been briefed that, over the years, the Indian Army has accumulated a substantial deficiency of weapons, stores and ammunition. This is because adequate attention has been lacking both in terms of policy and budget for modernizing the aging armoury.”

Lt Gen Chand’s criticism for the poor budgetary allocations assumes significance in light of the established tradition in the Indian democracy, where the serving generals have usually avoided to criticise the government’s policy so openly.


  1. I personally disagree with the comments made by a serving Lt.General as it has certain ramifications on the brave soldiers down the line. Budgetary allocations are a part of policy decisions which is a part and parcel of the political leadership and it’s goals and foreign policy. The media has a responsible role in it’s playing up on such issues. The kind of questions that need to be asked during interviews should be such that the individual opinions of serving officers are not addressed to them but to be directed to policy makers. This is a way of trapping officers to sensationalize the issues for TRPs.

  2. He is right to bring out the discord.. On one side the Govt shouts out ‘Make in India’s, and on the other hand doesn’t allocate any money for it..!! Even if one says that Make in India program shall be propagated within the allocated budget provisions, why is there a shortfalls of overall allocation ??

  3. The vice chief is spot on. High time somebody raised this serious issue of the inadequacy of the defence budget. If you don’t have a strong and credible armed forces none of the other arms of the state will grow. Case in point, look at China. If you are weak, no one will respect you and none of your aspirations for being a leading economic power will fructify.

  4. This government will raise slogans and remember the glory of our mythological heroes to scare away away the 2-front enemies. Defence spending at 1.58% is lowest since 1962 ! Cancellation of MMRCA, cancellation of single-seater fighter, FIVC, … the list is endless.


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