India: Indian Government has increased the defence budget to Rs 2.46 trillion (approx. USD 40 billion) for the next fiscal year as compared to the revised estimates of Rs 2.22 trillion for 2014-15, in an attempt to push 'Make in India' initiative to curtail overdependence on imports. “We are pursuing the ’Make in India’ policy to achieve greater self-sufficiency in the area of defense equipment,” said Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India.
It is believed that India has become the world’s biggest arms importer in recent years as it attempts to build up its military to deal with tensions with Pakistan and the growing military strength of China. India plans to cut its outlay toward new aircraft and engines for the Indian Air Force to Rs 189 billion for the coming fiscal year. Jaitley has allocated around Rs 160 billion for the navy to upgrade its fleet. The Defence Ministry has also approved the acquisition of 12 mine sweeping vessels for the Indian Navy estimated at Rs 32,000 crore along with a slew of other purchases.
Source: Economic Times