"They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy, that is why they stand strong today in the worldwide world order, challenging the might of US", he said while giving a speech on "Changing Security Environment: The Role of Indian Army" in New Delhi. "There is a belief that the defence expenditure is actually a burden on the state".
Hinting that India should follow suit, he said that the global spotlight was now on India as countries now look at New Delhi to act as a counter-balance. I want to dispel that myth.
To step up defence production within the country, India is looking at collaborating with other nations, he said.
The Army chief sought to dispel myths surrounding defence expenditure, insisting that nearly 35 percent of the defence budget goes in the nation-building process.
The Chief of Army Staff also dismissed the contention that the entire defence expenditure is being utilised only for maintaining the military. This is the second myth I wish to dispel. "After that, the focus of global community shifted towards Indo-Pacific region".
Commenting on the defence budget, Rawat said that the belief that defence expenditure is a burden on the state is a "myth" and added that a rising economy has to ensure the security to the establishment within the country.
The reliance of the armed forces has also been on ordnance factories but the picture is now changing, he said. "It is all because of China's assertiveness", he said. "Only in the past year, this exercise was shelved (due to simmering tensions over Doklam), but this exercise is back on the cards", he said in response to a question. "And therefore, what happened was, we did not allow the indigenous industry to develop", Rawat said.