24 February 2024
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New Delhi: With India facing up to a belligerent China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian government has initiated a slew of development projects at the Himalayan frontiers.

Even as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a big hike of around 13% in the defence budget for the 2023-24 fiscal period, a significant amount was also devoted to infrastructure development along the northern borders with China and Pakistan.

“Defence ministry is committed towards infrastructure strengthening in the northern borders. Accordingly, the Capital Budget of Border Roads Organization (BRO) has been increased by 43% to Rs 5,000 crore in FY 2023-24 as against Rs 3,500 crore in FY 2022-23,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The allocation under this segment has doubled in two years since FY 2021-22. This will boost the Border infrastructure thereby creating strategically important assets like Sela Tunnel, Nechipu Tunnel &Sela-Chhabrela Tunnel and will also enhance border connectivity,” the statement added.

In a significant hike, the Defence Ministry has been allocated Rs 5.94 lakh crore for the financial year 2023-24.

This was an increase of 13% from last year’s defence budget, which was ₹5,25,166 crore.

When compared to the first defence budget by the current central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this year’s allocation is a massive jump of over 100%.

The defence sector was allocated the biggest amount of money in budget 2023-24.

While announcing the 2023-24 Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated eight percent of the total budget for the defence sector.
The Union Finance Minister added that in the budget 2023-24, emphasis has been laid on self-reliance in the defence sector as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the PM Modi government.

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Abdul Gh Lone