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...In his medium-term fiscal policy statement last year, the FM had stated that the total defence expenditure is estimated at about 1.6 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 and 2018-19. If that is any consolation, the proposed defence outlay does not disappoint at least on that score. Many defence analysts, and even the standing committee on defence, have been rooting for defence outlays to be pegged at three per cent of GDP — while that seems unlikely in the near future, focus on this demand overshadows many other concerns. The first reaction has been how it would adversely affect modernisation of the armed forces. Unfortunately, repeated underutilisation of the capital budget weakens the case for higher allocations for new acquisitions. ...Indian Express on Feb. 14, 2017, 12:14 a.m.