by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) Feb 07, 2014
Global arms makers gathered in New Delhi for India’s biggest defence show face further frustrating delays as they await a new Indian government which they hope can speed up procurement.
Big French, British, Russian, US and other arms groups at Defexpo, which runs until Sunday, are competing to offer their wares to India, the largest global importer of conventional weapons.
The country, with regional rival Pakistan to the west and growing China to the north, is in the midst of a stuttering $100-billion defence modernisation programme to replace Soviet-era planes and tanks.
But hopes New Delhi might sign any big deals at the show were dashed Thursday by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who said on the sidelines of India’s Defexpo that “there is no money left” in the defence budget for this year.
“Almost all the budget has been spent. Many other projects are also in the pipeline,” he said.