New Delhi, November 13:

India, the largest arms purchaser among emerging nations, said today it will not prune its military spending, due to the growing threat from terrorism and regional tensions.

India annually spends $14 billion, or 2.34 per cent of its Gross Domestic Pro-duct, on its military. Since 2004 it has either used or committed billions of dollars in modernisation projects planned until 2010.

“It is a harsh reality that defence expenditure involves huge outlays on acquisitions,” foreign ministry Pranab Mukherjee told visiting defence officials from 40 countries including Britain, China, Germany and the US. “Th-ere is no denying the fact that the challenge of modern warfare with the likely nuclear, biological and chemical dimensions cannot be met with outdated technologies,” he said.

“These assume greater significance because of unfathomable dangers ari-sing from proliferation of nuclear technologies and the capability acquired by international terrorist org-anisations. And therefore there is no escape from modernisation of forces.”