New Delhi. Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh says Navy needs an “assured” budgetary support to build its capability while spelling out the challenges in realising the maritime potential of the country.
He said allocation to the Navy has reduced from 18 per cent of the defence budget in 2012-13 to 13 per cent now, impacting future force planning and capability development.
The Chief of Naval Staff also called for setting up a defence diplomacy fund.
“This way we are finding it difficult to assure the nation, that wants to become a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024, and give the kind of impetus (it needs) on maritime front,” he added.
Admiral Singh was delivering a speech on the topic, Indian Ocean – Changing Dynamic – Maritime Security Imperatives for India, as a part of the series held in memory of former Army chief the late General B C Joshi.
“One of the challenges is long-term budgetary support required to build Naval capability. If you want to build a ship, it takes some years and for that, we need to be assured budgetary support,” he said.
When asked, during a brief interaction with reporters, whether any project had to be halted over low allocation, he said, “Because of budgetary allocation we have to do a little bit of revamping of our procurement plan. Yes, it has limited us to some extent.”
“We have formed a task force on defence diplomacy and recommended that there should be a defence diplomacy fund, through which the present situation of poor delivery can be altered,” the Navy Chief said.
“As far as the absorption of new technologies goes, we have not kept pace with the global standards and practices and this is especially relevant to the weapon, sensor technologies, ship construction technology, absorption of new verticals such as AI and quantum computing.
“The key here is that we must have technologies, which are contemporary when available,” he said.
The Navy chief added that maritime security involved a large number of stakeholders.
“We need to have a comprehensive plan to harness the potential of the ocean. Other nations have moved quickly on the issues of delimitation of maritime boundaries as well as filing claim for extended continental shelves, which we haven’t done,” said Admiral Singh.