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In India’s ‘Make Or Break’ Budget, Defense May Take a Back Seat

  • Only bare minimum devoted to increase Modi’s military spending
  • Soldiers complain of outdated equipment, harsh conditions
Indian army soldiers.
Photographer: Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Updated on

India’s disruptive cash ban may prevent Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from using this week’s budget to quicken the pace of the country’s much-needed military modernization.

With economists slashing India’s 2016 growth estimates because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to eradicate 86 percent of India’s currency in circulation, analysts doubt India’s armed forces will get an increase beyond the bare minimum. Even as India’s soldiers leak videos of grim conditions on the front line of the country’s decades-long conflict with Pakistan, extra budget stimulus for defense is not likely.