India among top 3 military spenders: report
‘Country’s tensions and rivalry with Pakistan, China among major drivers for increased expenditure’
- The global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019 with India and China emerging among the top three spenders, according to a report by a Swedish think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
- In 2019, China and India were, respectively, the second- and third-largest military spenders in the world.
- China’s military expenditure reached $261 billion in 2019, a 5.1% increase compared with 2018, while India’s grew by 6.8% to $71.1 billion.
- In 2019, the top five largest spenders — U.S. ($732 bn), China, India, Russia ($65.1 bn) and Saudi Arabia ($61.9 bn) — accounted for 62% of the global expenditure.
- India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending. The $71.1 billion spent by India on defence in 2019 was 2.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India was at the fourth position in 2018 with Saudi Arabia at the third.
- Stating that India’s expenditure in 2019 was 6.8% more than that in 2018, the report says the country’s military expenditure has risen significantly over the past few decades.
- It grew by 259% over the 30-year period of 1990–2019, and by 37% over the decade of 2010–19. However, its military burden fell from 2.7% of GDP in 2010 to 2.4% in 2019.
- While India’s defence spending excluding pensions, which constitute a significant part, has been growing in absolute terms, it has been going down as a percentage of its GDP as noted by the report.
- For instance, the defence allocation in the latest budget for 2020-21 which was ₹3.37 lakh crore, excluding defence pensions, accounts for about 1.5% of the country’s GDP, the lowest in recent times.
- In comparison, Pakistan’s military expenditure rose by 70% over the decade 2010–19, to reach $10.3 billion while the military burden increased from 3.4% of GDP in 2010 to 4% in 2019, says the report. Pakistan was at the 24th position in 2019 compared to 19th in 2018.