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India among top 3 spenders on defence

Sunday 11 July 2004, by PANDIT*Rajat

NEW DELHI: India has emerged as the third largest spender on defence, behind only global giants like the US and China, if purchasing power parity (PPP) is taken into account.

The whopping Rs 77,000 crore earmarked for defence in the 2004-2005 budget will only ensure that India does not slip from this position.

Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee himself said on Saturday that around Rs 26,000 crore out of the Rs 33,483 crore projected capital expenditure would go towards meeting payments for the several contracts signed over the last few months.

The defence ministry’s craving for funds, however, still remains unsatiated. "There will not be much money left for new modernisation programmes," said Mukherjee, adding that the defence ministry might actually have to approach the finance ministry for supplementary allocations later this year.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates show that comparison of military spending using PPP rates (which reflect the actual volume of goods and services that can be purchased in each country with its currency) puts India ahead of countries like Russia, France, UK and Germany, among others.

Rajat Pandit

See online : The Times of India


in The Times of India, Sunday, July 11, 2004.

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