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India hikes defence expenditure by over 17 percent

New Delhi, Mar.16 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced a more than 17 percent hike in India's defence expenditure for fiscal 2012-13.

Presenting the general budget for 2012-13, Mukherjee allocated Rs 1.93 lakh crore (41 billion dollars) as defence spending for the current fiscal, barely weeks after China announced a whopping 11.2 percent increase in its military budget to 106.4 billion dollars.

The increase in allocation, up from Rs 1.64 lakh crore (36 billion dollars) last financial year, also comes at a time when the Indians armed forces are in the process of modernising itself as well as acquiring a slew of military equipment, including combat aircrafts, submarines and artillery.

China's military budget is currently the second highest in the world, just below that of the United States, and has steadily increased every year over the last decade. (ANI)