India’s defence spending to rise: Antony

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) India’s defence expenditure, which is 2.5 percent of its GDP, is going to increase in proportion with the overall growth of the economy, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Monday.

Inaugurating the sixth edition of the Indian Defence Exhibition here, Antony said: “The Indian economy is expected to grow at 8 to 10 percent for the next two decades. Expenditure on defence in absolute terms is bound to increase in equal proportion.”

He said the country’s political security situation demands rapid modernisation of armed forces.

Antony called upon the private sector to participate in the process of indigenising India’s armament needs.

“Though we are traditionally known to be a peace loving nation, at the same time we are ready to meet any challenge to our territorial integrity and sovereignty. Our government is committed to rapid modernisation of armed forces as we want our forces to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to defend our sovereignty,” he said.

“We want public and private sector to work in close cooperation as friendly partners. Our defence industry is open up to 100 percent for Indian private sector while foreign direct investment is allowed up to 26 percent,” the defence minister pointed out.

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