In the run-up to the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been accused of overspending on the war in Afghanistan, which has cost the country over $500 billion.
This was before the government announced the withdrawal of all foreign troops in 2018, a decision that has seen the country grow by almost 20% in the last five years.
The government’s latest Budget announced a reduction in defence spending by Rs 50,000 crore, which will come in the form of cuts to the National Military Operations Training Agency (NMOTA) that is responsible for training Indian soldiers for overseas duty.
However, the NDTV report claims that the budget is not actually cutting any funds for the NDOT.
Instead, it is being used to fund the budgeting of the Indian Air Force.
According to NDTV, the budget will also see a reduction to the amount of military training provided to the Indian Armed Forces, which it claims is being done through NDOT to avoid the impact of the government withdrawing its troops.
The NDOT, it says, has no plans to extend its service to train soldiers for the future.
According to the report, the defence budget is being funded by a Rs 500-crore levy on every household, which the government is also paying on the basis of gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time.
“This is a major change in the way defence expenditure is being spent,” said the NDTC report, which said that the tax levy will be levied on all household income of up to Rs 1 crore in the next financial year, starting from April.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, has said that he wants to spend Rs 50 lakh crore on the country’s defence and said that India would spend Rs 150 lakh crore in 2019.
However, it has been claimed that the NDTDA is still working to get the military budget fully funded.
According the report by NDTV’s correspondent Pratap Bhatt, NDOT has been using NDOT’s budget to fund its activities for the last three years.
However the NDTO has yet to come out with a detailed plan to tackle the looming shortfall, which NDTV claims is due to the war.
“In the next three years, we will be spending Rs 100,000 crores in the budget,” a senior official of NDOT said, adding that NDOT was “not prepared to invest in any project without clear and clear timelines”.
This has prompted NDTV to suggest that the government should also start spending its defence budget in a meaningful way, with a focus on creating jobs and economic growth.
There are several issues that are still unresolved in the war-torn country, including how the military should be trained, who should be given the jobs of NDTC, and how it should be financed.
According a report by The Hindu, the government has been given two years to resolve these issues, but it has so far failed to do so.