India’s economic development and modernisation of the armed forces are interdependent, Army Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday, PTI reported. Secure borders are connected with confidence foreign investors have in a country, Rawat said at a seminar in New Delhi.

“Economic rise takes place if the country is secure,” Rawat said while discussing the budget allocation for the armed forces. “We have to build and develop confidence among the investors that the nation’s borders are secure and the internal security situations are under control for which there is a requirement for budget for the defence forces. Economic development and military modernisation must go hand-in-hand.”

In the Union Budget on February 1, the Centre increased the budget for defence by 7.81% to Rs 2.95 trillion. Rawat defended the budgetary allocation to the armed forces while citing an Army study that found around 35-37% of the allocation to the forces was spent on nation building.

“If you are developing roads and infrastructure in remote areas of the country, they benefit the local population,” Rawat said. “The armed forces in the remotest locations are providing facilities of education and healthcare to people where government has not yet been able to reach out.”