New Delhi, Sep 12: Expressing concern over reports that the Modi Government is planning to cut 1.5 lakh jobs in the Indian Army to maintain the expenditure on weaponry, the Congress on Wednesday charged the government of compromising on National Security and displaying insensitivity on the pressing issue of jobs and unemployment.
Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, 'Congress is extremely concerned about the various media reports that suggest that the Modi Government is planning to cut 1.5 lakh jobs in the Indian Army. If this is true, then isn’t the Modi Government guilty of destroying more jobs in the country? The Modi Government which is so insensitive on the pressing issue of jobs and unemployment is again displaying its famous arrogance and abject apathy to the crores of Middle Class Youth and Underprivileged. Instead of creating the promised 2 Cr Jobs per year, Modi Government is hell bent in destroying more jobs.
If the Modi Government can spend Rs 5000 Cr in the last 4.5 years on Publicity of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi then why can’t it spend that same amount for Weaponry and Ammunition for our Armed Forces? PM Modi has spent Rs 35 lakh on his Fitness Videos, Rs 60 Cr monthly on updating his pictures on Petrol Pumps, Rs 1100 Cr on a sprawling BJP HQs, Rs 2000 Cr on his Foreign Travels – Then why is the Modi Government not providing adequate funds to the Army? '
'The Modi Government has earned a windfall of Rs 11 lakh Cr by levying Central Taxes on Petrol-Diesel, but it cannot spend Rs 5000-7000 Cr on the Indian Army? It squandered Rs 41000 Cr by overpaying in the Rafale Purchase, but it cannot spend Rs 7000 Cr on the Indian Army,' he said.
Charging the BJP Government of compromising on India's National Security, Mr Singhvi said Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen. Sarath Chand (retired on 31 May 2018) had testified to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence headed by Major General BC Khanduri, AVSM (Retd.) and had exposed a shameful state of neglect towards the requirements of our Armed Forces.
'In a scathing indictment of the Modi Government, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen. Sarath Chand (retired on 31 May 2018) had testified to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence headed by Major General BC Khanduri, AVSM (Retd.) and had exposed a shameful state of neglect towards the requirements of our Armed Forces.
The report said that only 8 per cent of our equipment is state-of-the-art, 68 per cent is vintage; that it cannot pay for emergency weapons purchase. It also said that there are not enough resources to undertake the construction of strategic roads on China border and 'Make in India' scheme in Defence has completely failed. It also said that in Budget 2018-19, Defence was provided just 1.58 per cent of GDP, lowest allocation since 1962,' Mr Singhvi said.
Charging Prime Minister Narendra Modi of inaction in the matter, Mr Singhvi said, 'what makes the above worse is that the PMO was aware of the problems with regard to the need for modernization and did nothing despite his urgent intervention being sought. This is attested to by the Standing Committee’s 37th Report which reproduces the communications with the Ministry of Defence [on ‘Actions Taken’ on previous recommendations] which state that the Ministry of Defence had unsuccessfully tried to bring the issue of insufficient allocations for the modernization budget to the PMO’s attention for their urgent intervention on 02.02.2017. Despite the same “it is not known whether the PMO has made any reference to Ministry of Finance in this regard. This Ministry has not received any additional allocation subsequent to taking up the matter with PMO”.
It is now clear that the PMO was briefed on the issue over a year ago and has done absolutely nothing. The Committee’s recommendation was to try and request the Prime Minister’s intervention again.' (UNI)