Belief that defence expenditure is a burden on state is a ‘myth’: Army Chief
Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, on Tuesday, addressed a press conference where he talked about myths surrounding the expenditure on defence forces and military diplomacy with China.
The Army chief sought to dispel myths surrounding defence expenditure, insisting that almost 35 percent of the defence budget goes in the nation-building process.
General Rawat, who delivered a lecture on " Changing Security Environment : The Role of Indian Army', said that "there is a belief that the defence expenditure is actually a burden on the state. They believe that whatever put in defence it is something that comes without any returns. I want to dispel that myth."
"Is entire Defence expenditure being utilized only for maintaining military? This is the second myth I wish to dispel. Almost 35% of our budget goes into nation building, He further said.
A major part of the Army's budget was being utilised in developing infrastructure, schools and hospitals in remote areas of the country, Rawat said.
"When we develop infrastructure on our borders, we are connecting the people who live in far areas with mainland. This helps in uniting the nation," he said.
Rawat hails China's military might
The Army chief also acknowledged the military might of China, saying "Chinese have finally arrived".
"Chinese have finally arrived. I can say that. They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy," said General Rawat. He further acknowledged that China stands "strong today in the world order, challenging the might of the US".
According to the Army chief, counties across the world have started looking up to India after the rise of China. He said, "As China has risen, countries have started looking up to India to see whether we can also become a nation that can balance the rise of China."
It was because of China's assertiveness that the focus of the international community shifted towards the Indo-Pacific region, said General Rawat.
This comes days after the Army chief blamed Pakistan and China for influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. He had said that it is part of a proxy warfare by Pakistan, which is getting support from China with an aim to keep the area disturbed.
"I think the proxy game is very well played by our western neighbour, supported by our northern border (China) to keep the area disturbed. We will continue to see some migration happening. The solution lies in identifying the problem and holistically looking at it," he had said.
India and China recently ended about a 70-day long military standoff at the Doklam tri-junction near the Sikkim border which had strained bilateral ties.