The ongoing military confrontation with China along the line of actual control has prompted the government to ease spending restrictions on defence while keeping tabs on expenditure on non-essential services. The expenditure control guidelines for the third quarter of the financial year issued by the finance ministry on September 28 has also provided relaxation for the fertiliser ministry as well ahead of the sowing season. The lifting of the expenditure curbs on defence comes in wake of the heavy troop mobilisation all along the 3,488-km LAC, especially in eastern Ladakh, which is set to continue through the winter, as well as emergency arms procurements in the pipeline and additional funding for the Border Roads Organisation. As reported by TOI earlier, the emergency procurements range from different missiles and precision-guided munitions to drones and assault rifles from countries like the US, France, Russia and Israel to bolster its operational military readiness against China. In April, the expenditure department had issued instructions to re-prioritise spending with a few ministries and departments such as health, pharma, food and public distribution and Ayush getting funds in line with their budget allocation as they were part of category A. Others such as fertiliser, road transport, petroleum, commerce and coal were to face spending cuts in view of Covid-19 which saw revenue dry up and severely hit government finances, prompting the Centre to step up borrowings. For B category departments and ministries, the monthly expenditure was to be capped at 8% of the allocation for 2020-21 for the first month, and at 6% for the last two months of the first quarter. For the C category, the departments needed to restrict the overall expenditure within 15% of BE of 2020-21.