Defence Ministry not spending funds wisely enough: FM

Tags: News
Against the backdrop of recent submarine mishap, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today suggested that the Defence Ministry is not spending the funds "wisely" enough and contended the maintenance of the military assets was being neglected.

He insisted that the Finance Ministry provides "a lot of money" to the Defence Ministry and "I sincerely hope that the defence forces will learn a lesson and make sure that the money allotted to them is spent more wisely and more efficiently on essential matters."

Chidambaram was responding when questioned by an NSUI member claiming to be sister of one of victims over the provision of sufficient funds to the Defence Ministry.

At a function organised by Congress' student wing NSUI here, the woman said Lt Commander Kapish Muwal, who died in the mishap on INS Sindhuratna, was her brother and asked Chidambaram "why the government is not sanctioning money for security and safety" as casualties are taking place.

She also referred to the sinking of another submarine INS Sindhurakshak a few months back and said the armed forces are going for refits as they shortage of finances.

Rejecting the view that adequate finances are not provided for the armed forces, Chidambaram said, "As far as defence expenditure is concerned, I think it is not correct to say that enough money is not being provided. There is no such thing as 'enough'."

Chidambaram noted that this time the Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 2.25 lakh crore for the defence, which is a "lot of money".

"...For defence, believe me, we have provided the maximum amount that we can," he insisted.

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