In the last 10 years, the Narendra Modi-led government has consistently emphasized the need for a robust and self-reliant defence sector, reflected in the budget allocations for the military. The recent interim budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman continues this trend, with a significant increase in the allocation for the defence sector.
In the fiscal year 2023/24, the government increased the defence budget by 12.95%, reaching ₹5.94 lakh crore. This substantial hike was aimed at empowering the armed forces to develop and procure advanced weaponry, including new fighter jets, submarines, and tanks. A noteworthy portion of the budget, ₹1.62 lakh crore, was designated for the modernization of the armed forces, aligning with the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
In 2022, Finance Minister Sitharaman allocated ₹5,55,484 crore for the defence sector, constituting 14.08% of the central government’s expenditure. Notably, 68% of the capital procurement budget was earmarked for the local industry, a strategic move to reduce dependence on imports and promote self-sufficiency in defence under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
The Defence Budget for 2021 was set at ₹4,78,196 crore, with revised expectations reaching ₹5,35,508 crore, accounting for 14.20% of the central government’s expenditure. The government’s focus was on a robust push for defence modernization, evident in an 18.75% increase in defence capital outlay.
Amid a border row with China, the government projected a Defence Budget of ₹4,71,378 crore for 2020-21. However, actual expenditure surpassed this estimate, reaching ₹5,23,330 crore. This period saw emergency purchases and heightened infrastructure development in forward areas.
The interim budget of 2019-20 allocated ₹3.18 lakh crore for defence, including a capital outlay of ₹1,03,394 crore. The actual expenditure surpassed this estimate, reaching ₹5,23,330 crore, constituting 18.20% of the central government’s expenditure.
In the years preceding 2019, defence budgets saw incremental hikes. The Modi government consistently allocated funds for military spending, with a focus on modernization and operational enhancement.
In the inaugural budget of the Modi government, a push for self-reliance in defence was evident. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed raising the FDI cap in defence and insurance sectors to 49% from 26%, aligning with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of expanding the defence industrial base and promoting self-sufficiency.
In the past decade, the Modi government has not only increased the defence budget consistently but has also strategically directed funds towards modernization and self-reliance. These budgetary allocations signify a comprehensive approach to bolstering India’s defence capabilities, ensuring national security in an ever-evolving geopolitical landscape.
Sources By Agencies