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India Proposed Increase In Defence Spending Falls Short Of Expectations


India has proposed a modest 5.5% increase to the national defence budget for fiscal year 23/24.

  • The increase would take total defence spending to USD$72 billion and comes amid increased tensions with China over the disputed border region encompassing parts of Kashmir, Tibet, and Xinjiang.
  • Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the budget hike would be used to modernise aircraft, warships, and other military hardware.
  • Critics have argued that the defence increase will fail to adequately address supply chain problems caused a reliance on Russian military hardware.
  • Laxman Behera at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said the budget was "reasonable but not sufficient", considering the scope of military modernisation required.
  • Bloomberg reports that the defence shortfall is due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on social sector spending and tax cuts ahead of national elections due next year.

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