New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday assured Lok Sabha that sufficient allocations are being made for the defence sector, as his junior minister Ajay Bhatt assured the House of Indian borders being secure after an MP raised the issue of India-China border situation in the Lok Sabha.
Asking a question on defence expenditure, DMK MP TR Baalu said security of Indian borders has become more vulnerable, and this is evident from the experience in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
He said defence expenditure is about 2.33 per cent of GDP, and needs to be enhanced for modernisation.
MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt in reply said Defence Ministry has the highest allocation in the Budget, and thinktank SIPRI has said India is third in the world in spending on defence. Bhatt said defence budget has gone up by 76 per cent between 2011 and 2020.
Rajnath Singh also said defence budget has been increasing, and its growth should not be measured in terms of percentage of the budget or GDP.
He said the Kargil review committee did not recommend any percentage of GDP that should be allocated for the Budget. “We are implementing the suggestions given by the committee,” he said.
Bhatt, replying to concerns on the border situation, said, “India’s borders are secured. Leh-Ladakh was mentioned here, the morale of our soldiers is high… Nation is safe under the leadership of Narendra Modi”.
The India-China standoff began in May 2020 when PLA tried to unilaterally alter the LAC in Eastern Ladakh sector, where the border is not clearly demarcated.
The Chinese action led to an eyeball-to-eyeball situation, especially in Depsang, Pangong Lake, Gogra Hills and Hot Springs areas. Subsequent rounds of talks resulted in disengagement in Pangong Lake and Gogra areas. However, the standoff continues in some other areas. (UNI)