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In a first, India enters list of top three military spenders

As per the SIPRI data on Monday, India’s military expenditure grew by 6.8 percent in 2019 and was third largest military spender in the world.

Published: 27th April 2020 07:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2020 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

rafale fighter jet

Rafale jets during full dress rehearsal for Airshow 2019 at Yelahanka Airforce station in Bengaluru (File Photo| Vinod Kumar/ EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The US, China and India were the world’s three biggest military spenders in 2019, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia. The two Asian countries made it to the top three for the first time, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.

This is the first time India made it to the list of top three military spenders.

As per the SIPRI data on Monday, India’s military expenditure grew by 6.8 percent in 2019 and was third largest military spender in the world.

“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 per cent increase compared with 2018, while India’s grew by 6.8 per cent to $71.1 billion.” As per SIPRI ‘India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending,’

As per the allocation for 2020-21, Rs. 4,71,378 crore (US$ 66.9 billion) was earmarked for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of which Rs. 3,23,053 crore ($45.8 billion) which primarily deals with the expenses of the three armed forces and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The balance is meant for defence pensions (Rs. 1,33,825 crore or $19.0 billion) and MoD (Civil) (Rs. 14,500 crore or $2.1 billion). India remains biggest arms importer second only to Saudi Arabia.

Global military expenditure saw largest annual increase in a decade—says SIPRI—reaching $1917 billion in 2019 and the five largest spenders in 2019, which accounted for 62 per cent of expenditure, were the United States ($732 billion), China, India, Russia ($65.1 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($61.9 billion).

This is the first time that two Asian states have featured among the top three military spenders. ‘Global military expenditure was 7.2 per cent higher in 2019 than it was in 2010, showing a trend that military spending growth has accelerated in recent years. ‘This is the highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis.

As per SIPRI researchers the recent growth in US military spending is largely based on a perceived return to competition between the great powers.

Military expenditure in the Asian region has risen every year since at least 1989. SIPRI monitors developments in military expenditure worldwide and maintains the publicly available data source on military expenditure. As per it the Military expenditure refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support.

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