Will the budget 2017 stand up to the defence’s expectations?
The Indian military has embarked on an ambitious modernisation drive to sharpen its combat edge. The expectations from the budget are high as a lot of crucial purchases have to be made. However, the trends of previous years show that military spending has only increased marginally on a year-on-year basis, hovering around 10-12%. The defence budget has been in the region of 2 % of GDP while the military and the armed forces have made a strong case for the allocation being around 3 % of the GDP to match the pace at which China is upgrading its combat capabilities. While they have been demanding extra funds, the fact is that the ministry ends up surrendering unused funds every year.