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Budget cut warning for global defence groups as India opens air show

Published on Feb 6, 2013 7:43 PM

BANGALORE (AFP) - India's defence minister warned of budget cuts on Wednesday as he opened the country's air show with a sobering message for global defence groups used to years of lavish spending.

Referring to efforts to reduce the budget deficit caused by slowing economic growth and higher spending on subsidies, A.K. Antony said the government of India, the world's leading arms importer, was "passing through difficult days".

"The whole government is facing some financial problems, so we need to tighten in all areas for a better future," he said.

Having seen the defence budget cut this year, reportedly by about 100 billion rupees (S$ 2.5 billion dollars), Mr Antony appeared to be preparing the ground for painful negotiations over the upcoming budget due at the end of the month.

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