New Delhi: As the first budget of the newly elected government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the Union Budget on Friday, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman kept the financial outlay for the defence sector constant as it was in the Interim Budget.
Presenting her maiden budgetary speech, Sitharaman said that the Import of defence equipment had been exempted from basic customs duty.
“Defence has an immediate requirement of modernisation and upgradation. This is a national priority. For this purpose, import of defence equipment that are not being manufactured in India are being exempted from the basic customs duty," Sitharaman said.
The interim Union Budget 2019-20, presented in Parliament on 1 February 1, before the Lok Sabha elections, allocated Rs4.31 lakh crore (US$ 60.9 billion) to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Of this total allocation, Rs3.01 lakh crore ($42.7 billion) had been earmarked for the defence budget.
The budgetary allocation as per the interim budget crossed Rs3 Lakh crore for the first time, as opposed to 2018’s allocation of ₹2.95 lakh crore.
On the other hand, the Union home ministry was given a budget outlay of ₹1.19 lakh crore. In February, interim finance minister Piyush Goyal allocated ₹1.03 lakh crore to the MHA, which was a jump of ₹10,477 crore than the previous financial year.
In the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament, the budget allocation represented an increase of ₹5,858 crore over the revenue expenditure (RE) of the financial year 2018-19 amount of ₹1.13 lakh crore.