New Delhi Feb 1 (IANS): The capital allocation pertaining to modernisation and infrastructure development for the defence services has been increased to Rs 1,62,600 crore in the Union Budget 2023-24, marking a rise of Rs 10,230 crore (6.7 per cent) over 2022-23. Also, special thrust has been given on the development of the Northern borders, keeping in mind the threat from China.
The allocation will boost the border infrastructure, thereby creating strategically important assets like Sela Tunnel, Nechipu Tunnel and Sela-Chhabrela Tunnel, besides enhancing border connectivity.
"This increase is a reflection of the government's commitment towards sustainable augmentation in the area of modernisation and infrastructure development of the defence services. The Ministry of Defence is committed towards infrastructure strengthening in the border areas, particularly on the Northern borders," said a statement issued by the Defence Ministry.
The budget for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has been increased by 43 per cent to Rs 5,000 crore in FY 2023-24, as against Rs 3,500 crore in FY 2022-23.
For strengthening research and development in defence, the allocation to DRDO has been enhanced by 9 per cent, with a total allocation of Rs 23,264 crore in BE 2023-24.
To further foster innovation, encourage technology development and strengthen the defence industrial ecosystem in the country, iDEX and DTIS have been allocated Rs 116 crore and Rs 45 crore, respectively, representing an enhancement of 93 per cent for iDEX and 95 per cent for DTIS over 2022-23. This will fulfil the Ministry of Defence's vision to leverage ideas from bright young minds across the country.
The Union Budget 2023-24 also announced a National Data Governance Policy to unleash innovation and research by startups and academia. This will enable access to anonymised data which will further boost the defence startups and iDEX scheme.