Budget 2018: Modi government sends out message to China, here is how

Budget 2018: Budget India was presented in Parliament. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had made a host of announcements in budget 2018 India. The Modi government’s Union Budget has something to offer for everyone. Budget highlights show that the Modi government has come up with a maritime strategic diplomacy through Union Budget. Island nations located in the Indian Ocean region were granted a large sum of money. Countries like Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Maldives got budget allocations. Indian Ocean region is a crucial region as China as been trying to gain supremacy.

In the Budget 2018, Seychelles was given Rs 300 crore. The allocation saw a 50 per cent hike as the Modi government is planning to develop the infrastructure of Assumption island. This is one of the 115 islands of the nations. Rs 350 crore were allocated for another island nation Mauritius. The amount of allocation was marginally increased from than the current fiscal’s Rs 335 crore. Notably, in Mauritius, India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the improvement in sea and air transportation facilities at the Agaléga island.

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Sri Lanka was allocated Rs 150 crore in the Budget 2017. With an aim to counter Chinese expansion in Sri Lanka, India is planning to reconstruct Kankesanthurai Port of Sri Lanka. Notably, earlier Chinese firms had built Hambantota port project, near Colombo. China has another port project going on at Gwadar Port in Pakistan. Maldives was allocated Rs 125 crore. This allocation comes even as there has been a reported strain in the relationship between India and that country. These were revealed in Budget allocation for the Ministry of External Affairs.

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Apart from these island nations, Chabahar Port in Iran was allocated Rs 150 crore. Bhutan was granted Rs 2,650 crore, Nepal got Rs 650 crore for projects in Budget 2018. In the Union Budget, Myanmar was granted Rs 280 crore. Notably, the Ministry of External Affairs was granted Rs 15,011 crore in the Union budget, up from last year’s Rs 213 crore.