India 4th largest military spender in 2023, says new Sipri report | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India 4th largest military spender in 2023, says new Sipri report

Apr 22, 2024 11:51 PM IST

India is modernising its military with fighter jets, choppers, warships, tanks, artillery guns, rockets and missiles, unmanned capabilities and other systems

NEW DELHI: India was the fourth largest military spender in the world in 2023 with an expenditure of $83.6 billion after the United States, China and Russia, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in a report published on Monday.

Pokhran: Indian military personnel during the Exercise Bharat Shakti, in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in March (PTI FILE PHOTO)
Pokhran: Indian military personnel during the Exercise Bharat Shakti, in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in March (PTI FILE PHOTO)

India’s spending was 4.2% higher than that in the previous year, the report on global military spending said.

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India has sharpened its focus on building its defence capabilities and strengthening military infrastructure along the China border after the Ladakh standoff began in May 2020. India is modernising its military with fighter jets, helicopters, warships, tanks, artillery guns, rockets and missiles, unmanned capabilities and other combat systems.

India was the fourth-highest spender in 2022 too, according to last year’s Sipri report on the subject. India’s military spending then stood at $81.4 billion, which was 6% more than that in 2021, and up by 47% from 2013.

Also Read | Global defence budget: How much India, Pakistan and China spend on military? Top 10 list

China, the world’s second-largest military spender, allocated an estimated $296 billion to its military in 2023, an increase of 6% over the previous year, according to Sipri data. “Several of China’s neighbours have linked their own spending increases to China’s rising military expenditure,” the report said.

In 2022, China’s military spending reached $ 292 billion.

The latest report comes at a time when India and China have been locked in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh since May 2000, and negotiations are on to ease border tensions. The two sides have held 21 rounds of military talks to resolve outstanding problems.

On February 1, India set aside 6.21 lakh crore for defence spending in the interim budget for 2024-25, with the allocation marginally lower (0.37%) than last year’s revised estimates and 4.72% higher than what it was in the budget estimates for 2023-24.

This year’s defence budget accounts for 1.89% of the country’s projected gross domestic product (GDP) for 2024-25.

The budget includes a revenue expenditure of 2.82 lakh crore, capital outlay of 1.72 lakh crore and pension outlay of 1.41 lakh crore. The capital outlay for the modernisation of the armed forces is 9.39% higher than last year’s revised estimates and 5.78% more if compared to the budget estimates for 2023-24.

The new Sipri report said the total global military expenditure reached $2443 billion in 2023, an increase of 6.8% from 2022. “This was the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009,” it said, adding that the military spending surged amid war, rising tensions and global insecurity.

Military spending by the US rose 2.3% to $916 billion in 2023, while Russia’s military expenditure increased by 24% to an estimated $109 billion amid the war with Ukraine, the report said.

“Ukraine was the eighth largest spender in 2023, after a spending surge of 51% to reach $64.8 billion,” the report said.

‘The unprecedented rise in military spending is a direct response to the global deterioration in peace and security,’ said Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.

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