New Delhi: India has become the world’s fifth largest spender on military, the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has said.
The report, released on Monday, said: “India’s military expenditure grew by 8.5 per cent in 2016 to $55.9 billion, making it the fifth largest spender.”
The figures include expenditure on the paramilitary forces of the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Assam Rifles, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Sashastra Seema Bal but do not include spending on military nuclear activities.
For the financial year 2017-18, India has further upped its military spending by 10 per cent.
The top four in the list of military spenders in 2016 are the US ($611 billion), China ($215 billion), Russia ($69.2 billion and Saudi Arabia ($63.7 billion). In the top five, India had the highest percentage growth rate while spending by Saudi Arabia fell 30 per cent in 2016, despite its continued involvement in regional wars. Though Pakistan spent $9.93 billion, it is not figuring even in the top 15.
The total world military expenditure rose to $1,686 billion in 2016, an increase of 0.4 per cent in real terms from the previous year. Global military spending had peaked in 2011 — $1,699 billion.
“In Asia and Oceania, military expenditure rose by 4.6 per cent in 2016. Spending levels are related to the many tensions in the region such as over territorial rights in the South China Sea,” the report said.
“The growth in US military expenditure in 2016 may signal the end of a trend of decreases in spending, which resulted from the economic crisis and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq,” the report added.
However, Dr Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI arms and military expenditure programme, said: “Future spending patterns remain uncertain due to the changing political situation in the USA.”...