The army chief – Bipin Rawat while speaking to the defence think tank lamented that many in the country thinks that the spending on defence is a “burden” and that the military is not able to get its due share because of this. He wanted a strong military which is quintessential in safeguarding the country.
He also said that a national military strategy and a security framework will be finalised very soon which will enable the country to effectively deal with security challenges without any hiccups. The Army Chief opined that India must look for new friends and allies to deal with neighbours especially across India’s western and northern borders by indirectly referring to Pakistan and China.
“While we are developing our economy, the military is not getting its due share. I think here we need to draw a lesson from China,” he said. He also said that there should be a nexus between military and economic growth as they are two tenants of national power. India’s defence budget for 2017-18 was Rs 2.74 lakh crore, which is 1.63 per cent of GDP. China’s defence budget is close to three per cent of its GDP.
He also talked about energy security which would also hold as a key for India becoming a major power whils also stressing that India’s true potential will be realised only when both economic growth and might of the armed forces go hand-in-hand.