Issue Brief on “India’s 76 billion USD Defence Budget”



India’s defence budget for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 is likely to be around 80 billion USD, surpassing that of the United Kingdom and Russia.[2] According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Indian defence budget will be more than 76.5 billion USD and is estimated to be the third largest in the world only behind the United States and China with 773 billion USD[3] and 229 billion USD,[4] respectively.[5] However, SIPRI indicated the figures to be 801 billion USD and 293 billion USD, respectively.[6] According to the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), currently, India has more than 1.4 million active troops with an additional 11 million reserve military personnel. Further, it has around 2.6 million paramilitary forces which are primarily tasked with border security and to fulfil domestic needs. It is worthy to note here that during the Fiscal Year 2020-2021, the Indian Defence Budget was almost 73 billion USD and in less than two years, it has witnessed a hike of almost 4 billion USD.[7] It is worthy to probe this increasing defence budget, especially during the times of Covid-19 and its devastating impact on India. Since January 2020 till date, more than half a million people have perished of the virus and still the international community is fearing the death rate to be much higher than the Indian government’s official numbers.[8] However, the Indian government seems ambitious in increasing its defence budget at the cost of the wellbeing of its citizens.

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