Antony cheers 10 percent hike in defence budget

February 29th, 2008 - 3:15 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Friday welcomed the 10 percent hike in the defence budget for fiscal 2008-09 to Rs.1,056 billion ($26.5 billion), saying it would aid in the armed forces modernisation drive. “I am happy. You have heard the finance minister say on the floor of the house that more money would be provided, if required, particularly for capital expenditure,” Antony told reporters in parliament after the budget had been presented.

“This will aid in the modernisation drive of the armed forces,” Antony said, adding: “After the finance minister’s statement, I can say I am happy with the budget.”

Presenting the budget in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said: “The allocation for defence is being raised by 10 percent from Rs.96,000 crore (Rs.960 billion) to Rs. One lakh five thousand six hundred crore (Rs.1,056 billion).

“I have assured the raksha mantri (defence minister) that more money would also be provided if necessary, especially for capital expenditure,” he added.

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