Saturday, March 5, 2011

Indian defence budget hiked to $34 bn

 Tuesday, March 01, 2011

NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the defence budget of the country for 2011-12 had been hiked to about Rs154.4 billion ($34 billion).

Presenting the budget for the next financial year the minister said this will mark an over 4% increase from the outgoing allocations of Rs147.3 billion. Mukherjee also told the Lok Sabha while presenting the annual budget that the capital expenditure for defence in 2011-12 would be scaled up to Rs691 billion up from the Rs60 billion in 2010-11. He said any further requirement for defence of the country would be met.

Spending on the military was boosted to 1.65 trillion rupees (36 billion dollars) for the financial year to March 2012 from 1.47 trillion rupees the previous year. The latest rise comes after nuclear rivals India and Pakistan earlier this month agreed to resume peace talks suspended over two years ago when gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai.

International consultancy firm KPMG estimates New Delhi will hand out military contracts worth $112 billion by 2016. This year’s increase in defence spending comes as the government is looking to finalise big-ticket deals to procure 126 combat aircraft, 197 light helicopters and 145 ultra-light howitzer artillery guns for the army

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