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There will never be enough spending on defence, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said allocating most money in the budget to defence is never going to be enough.

The Ministry of Defence got the highest allocation at Rs 6.2 lakh crore; however, she insisted that there "will never be enough spending on defence", while taking a swipe at the previous Congress governments.

"There was an announcement in this budget too (on defence)," she said, "Nothing is adequate for the defence budget. Before the PM Modi government, there was not much attention paid to the defence sector. We are making up for that till now."

"So, there will never be enough spending on defence. We are making up for lost time," Sitharaman said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget - the last one before the next government takes over after the general elections due this year - in the Parliament yesterday. The Government resisted the temptation of spending a large chunk of money on schemes for the poor and instead stuck to the path of fiscal consolidation to attract investors.

Sitharaman, in an exclusive interview with NDTV, said the absence of such measures in her budget was a nod to the "confidence" people have in Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the Lok Sabha elections.

The Finance Minister also explained why the Government is bringing a white paper in Parliament on the "mismanagement of the economy till 2014 and what was the need for it now.

"If we had brought a white paper at that time (in 2014), nobody would have invested in the country looking at the fragile state of the economy," Sitharaman explained. "We took the Indian economy from 'fragile' to the top. This is why we are bringing in a white paper now. This is the right time."

Opposition parties slammed the budget with Congress leader P Chidambaram stating that the Finance Minister had not talked about unemployment and that the fundamental flaw in the NDA's approach to the economy and governance is that "it is biased in favour of the rich".

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TAGS:Nirmala SitharamanBudget 2024Defence Budget India
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