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Taxation- Faith against Experience

facilitate easy movement of naval ships between the West and East coasts without having to go round Sri Lanka. Venkataraman replied that the government was examining some proposals in this regard, but all of these involved "enormous expenditure". And what about the objective of developing indigenous capability for production of defence equipment? When short-cuts are sought to achieve a quick defence build-up through imported armaments, it is inevitable that this objective will be relegated to the background. Certainly, this has happened repeatedly in relation to the economy whenever attempts have been made to step up production in any industry on a crash basis through imported plant and technology. A Rood case in point is fertiliser. Finally, will it not be self- defeating if in our attempt to preserve our military superiority in South Asia we turn overwhelmingly to the Soviet Union (as would seem to be indicated by the arms purchase list we presented Ustinov with) and this in turn further enlarges the flow of US arms to Pakistan? The Government of India should not forget that as the aspiring dominant power in South Asia it has a vital interest in keeping to the minimum the role and involvement of outside powers. especially the superpowers, in the region. President Zia does not need to worry about such matters quite as much.

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