March 16, 2012

India to Boost Defense Spending by 17% to Keep Pace With China

India plans to increase defense spending by 17 percent for the next financial year, as the country seeks to modernize its armed forces to keep pace with China’s military buildup and counter traditional rivals.
Total expenditure on the country’s armed services is set to rise to 1.93 trillion rupees ($40 billion) this year, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told parliament today as his delivered the country’s annual budget. China announced plans last month to increase spending by 11.2 percent this year to meet the country’s expanding global commitments.
India’s internal security threats and rivalries with Pakistan and China, the nuclear-armed neighbors with which it has border disputes, have driven a tripling in defense spending over the last decade.
The country, which is the world’s largest arms importer, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, is currently negotiating with Dassault Aviation SA (AM) to buy 126 warplanes in the world’s biggest fighter-jet purchase in 15 years.


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