Defence budget slumps 2 per cent below GDP first time since 1962

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) The Indian defence budget has slumped two per cent below the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first time since the 1962 Indo-China war.

''Though the defence budget for the fiscal 2008-09 is 10 per cent more than the previous year's allocation, an analysis reveals that for the first time since the 1962 Indo-China war, it has fallen below two per cent of the GDP,'' Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor lamented today.

Gen Kapoor was delivering a lecture on the changing global scenario and its impact on the Indian Army here.

He said there had been a persistent decline in the budget over the years from 3.38 per cent in 1987-88 to 1.98 per cent now -- much below the global average.

''In order to develop desired force capabilities, the military planner is confronted with the dilemma of improving the capital-revenue ratio...This requires simultaneous rightsizing with induction of state of the art weapons and equipment,'' the Army chief explained.

Gen Kapoor added that the budgetary allocation for the modernisation drive was very little.

''Sometimes it so happens that by the time a deal (for arms and equipment) fructifies, the financial year is over and the allocated amount lapses...but this long procedure will improve in due course,'' he hoped.

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