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More defence budget required: Minister

Special Correspondent

Opportunities abundant in 11th FYP

— PHOTO : P V Sivakumar

getting updated: Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju at the Defence Electronics Research Labs in the city on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: While it is common for Government departments to express concern over inadequate allocations, there is at least one department that is worried about the manner in which it will spend the allocation made to it in the budget.

The Defence Ministry is seriously thinking about ways to improve its ‘ability to spend’ Rs. 96,000 crore budgetary allocations made to it during the current financial year. “We have surrendered Rs. 3,000 crore out of the Rs. 89,000 crore allocated to us last year,” Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said.

Mr. Pallam Raju was replying to queries from presspersons about proposals for significantly enhancing the defence budget after a visit to the Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) here on Saturday. He said it was for the armed forces to decide how they would spend the amount for constantly modernising themselves.

The Union Minister said that in tune with the offset policy, there would be lot of opportunity in the 11th five year plan that offered an estimated US $ 10 billion (over Rs. 40,000 crore) deals. Mr. Pallam Raju, accompanied by DLRL director R. Sreehari Rao, inspected a wide range of electronic warfare facilities at DLRL .

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