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Home / India News / India third biggest spender on military last year: Report

India third biggest spender on military last year: Report

According to the report, global military expenditure stood at around $1917 billion in 2019 --- the highest in over three decades.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2020 05:58 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
New Delhi’s defence spending grew 6.8% to reach $71.1 billion in 2019, said the report on Trends in World Military Expenditure.
New Delhi’s defence spending grew 6.8% to reach $71.1 billion in 2019, said the report on Trends in World Military Expenditure. (Burhaan Kinu/ HT file photo. Representative image)

India was the world’s third-biggest military spender last year, trailing only the United States and China, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in a report released on Monday. This is the first time that India and China have featured among the top three military spenders.

New Delhi’s defence spending grew 6.8% to reach $71.1 billion in 2019, said the report on Trends in World Military Expenditure.

“India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending,” Sipri senior researcher Siemon T Wezeman said in the report. Russia and Saudi Arabia were the fourth and fifth largest spenders last year.

According to the report, global military expenditure stood at around $1917 billion in 2019 --- the highest in over three decades.

This represents an increase of 3.6% over the global defence spending in 2018 and the largest annual growth in military expenditure since 2010. The five top spenders in 2019 accounted for 62% of the global expenditure.

The Sipri report said India’s military expenditure grew 259% over a 30-year period (1990-2019) and by 37% over decade (2010–19). “However, its (India’s) military burden fell from 2.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to 2.4% in 2019,” the report said.

India’s military spending has grown significantly over the past decade because of a raft of reasons including a mounting salary bill for about 1.4 million serving personnel, pensions for more than two million veterans and deals worth billions of dollars to induct new combat jets, air defence missile systems, helicopters, warships and artillery guns to enhance capabilities.

The world military burden --- global military expenditure as a share of GDP --- in 2019 was 2.2%, a marginal increase over the previous year, the report said.

The US topped the list of military spenders with $732 billion in 2019 accounting for 38% of the total global defence expenditure. It spent almost as much on its military last year as the next 10 highest spenders combined, the report said.

Sipri said China allocated around $261 billion to the military in 2019, which is roughly equivalent to 14% of the global military expenditure. It added that China’s military spending in 2019 was 5.1% higher than in 2018 and 85% higher than in 2010.

“China’s military expenditure has increased continuously since 1994 (for 25 consecutive years). The growth in its military spending has closely matched the country’s economic growth. Between 2010 and 2019, China’s military burden remained almost unchanged, at 1.9% cent of its GDP,” the report said.

It added that Pakistan’s military expenditure grew 70% over 2010- 19 to reach $10.3 billion. “Its military burden increased from 3.4% of GDP in 2010 to 4% in 2019,” the report said.

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