‘More money doesn’t mean military strength’

Pranab Mukherjee may now be in charge of the finance ministry but his versatility and his experience keep him in touch with practically every aspect of governance. At a luncheon interaction with editors, Mukherjee was asked if allocating only 2.2 percent of GDP for defence did not make a handicap for India compared to Pakistan that spent 3.4 percent of its GDP on defence.

Mukherjee, who has been defence minister and then foreign minister in the previous Manmohan Singh government, promptly replied that military spending was not necessarily an index of the country’s defence preparedness. He said India had taken a conscious decision not to up its defence spending and even if Pakistan spent five percent of its GDP on defence, it did not make that country any more secure.

“Our forces are well prepared to meet any eventuality,” Mukherjee assured.