In nominal terms, India's defence budget is forecast to rise quickly over the coming decade. (Janes Defence Budgets)
India has announced a 2022–23 defence budget of INR5.25 trillion (USD70.2 billion), an increase of almost 10% over the initial allocation in 2021–22.
The allocation is equal to about 13% of the government's total expenditure for the year, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 1 February.
It added that the expenditure reflects the government's emphasis on the “modernisation and infrastructure development” of the Indian Armed Forces.
The announcement also revealed in-year revisions made to the 2021–22 budget, which resulted in a rise of 4.2% from that year's initial figure.
These revisions took total spending in 2021–22 to INR4.98 trillion and meant that instead of the originally announced nominal contraction of 1.3%, spending last year in fact grew by 2.8% before the effects of inflation.
Compared with this updated figure for 2021–22, the expansion planned in the 2022–23 budget is significantly smaller, at 5.4%, but represents an acceleration from the previous year's rate.
The defence budget includes an allocation of INR3.64 trillion (or 69%) for operations, salaries, and pensions. The latter will receive 33% of the allocation (INR1.19 trillion), an increase of 2.4% on their estimated initial costs the previous year.
The budget also includes INR1.60 trillion (or 30%) for capital outlay. Of this, the Indian defence services will receive INR1.52 trillion, a year-on-year increase of nearly 13%.
The Indian Army capital outlay in 2022–23 is INR320 billion, a decline of 12%. The Indian Navy will receive INR475.9 billion, an increase of 43%, while the Indian Air Force has been allocated INR555.8 billion, an increase of 4%.