Defence Minister A K Antony said today that India’s budget for defence acquisitions at current levels may touch a whopping 35 billion dollars in the next two decades,

Noting that defence cooperation has assumed importance in devising a strategy for foreign policy, he said about 2.5 per cent of the GDP was devoted to maintain the military might.

The budget estimates for the current fiscal is more than 18 billion dollars (about Rs 87,000 crores) placing India among the top ten countries according to the defence expenditure incurred, he said while addressing the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here.

During 2006-07 about nine billion dollar expenditure is likely to be incurred on stores, making the defence forces heavily dependent on imports to meet their requirements.

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