Mumbai, April 30: India's military spending went up by 3.1% to $66.5 billion in 2018, according to a latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
India occupied one of the top spots and is among the top 5 defence spenders in the world. The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60% of global military spending. India's spending follows the global and regional trend as countries in Asia continued to spend to expand their defence budgets. In India, the defence budget has remained less than 2% of the GDP, according to independent assessments reports the Economic Times while the global military spending is 2.1% of the world GDP.
According to SIPRI, military spending in Asia and the corresponding region accounted for 28% of the global total defence spending in 2018. Along with India, other countries such as Pakistan increased the defence spending by 11% to reach $11.4 billion in 2018 while South Korea’s military expenditure was $43.1 billion in 2018—an increase of 5.1%.
The other similarities that these countries share apart from their expanding military expenditure is that they find themselves feeling vulnerable as they are engaged in or face the possibility of conflict. India and Pakistan have seen increased tensions as the two countries continue to blame each other for continued ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. South Korea is faced with a belligerent North Korea which has refused to agree to a timeline to give up its nuclear weapons.
SIPRI said that under “military expenditure” it 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.