India’s federal government has announced an INR2.793 trillion (USD43.815 billion) defence budget for fiscal year 2018-19 (FY 2018-19), a 7.73% or INR51.91 billion increase over the previous year’s allocation.
Defence officers and analysts told Jane’s , however, that they fear the budget hike, which was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February along with the national budget, will be “grossly insufficient” to advance the military’s long-delayed modernisation programmes, given that the hike will be “almost completely neutralised” by rising inflation of around 5% and a decline in the value of the Indian rupee.
They also pointed out that that in terms of India’s GDP, the recently announced defence budget actually represents a decline to around 1.49% of GDP compared with 1.56% in FY 2017-18.
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