NEW DELHI — Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will double up as India's defense minister, replacing the former Ministry of Defence chief Manohar Parrikar, who has been appointed chief minister of his home state of Goa after the March 11 state election.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday upon advice from Prime Minister Narendra Modi assigned Jaitley to run the MoD in addition to his existing portfolio, according to a news release issued by the President's Secretariat.
Shri Arun Jaitley shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to his existing portfolios— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) March 13, 2017
Jaitley's latest appointment comes against the backdrop of a report by a select parliamentary panel that criticizes the government for spending little to benefit the defense sector.
"The Committee are distressed to note that no positive response has been received from the Ministry of Finance regarding augmentation of budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Defence," the panel said in its report, which was tabled in lower house of Parliament last week.
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