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Antony cheers 10 pc defence budget hike

The Defence Minister says the amount will help in the execution of the armed forces modernisation drive.

business Updated: Feb 29, 2008 14:14 IST

Defence Minister AK Antony on Friday welcomed the 10 per cent hike in the defence budget for the fiscal 2008-09 to Rs 1,056 billion ($26.5 billion), saying it would aid in the armed forces modernisation drive.

"I am happy. You have heard the finance minister say on the floor of the house that more money would be provided, if required, particularly for capital expenditure," Antony told reporters in Parliament after the budget had been presented.

"This will aid in the modernisation drive of the armed forces," Antony said, adding: "After the finance minister's statement, I can say I am happy with the budget."

Presenting the budget in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said: "The allocation for defence is being raised by 10 per cent from Rs 96,000 crore (Rs 960 billion) to Rs One lakh five thousand six hundred crore (Rs 1,056 billion).

"I have assured the raksha mantri (defence minister) that more money would also be provided if necessary, especially for capital expenditure," he added.