Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made no mention of India’s defence allocation for 2016-17 in his Union Budget speech on Monday, raising curiosity over why the country’s military spending was not revealed.
Jaitley had last year announced an outlay of Rs 2,46,727 crore for 2015-16, an increase of 7.7% over the previous year’s budgetary estimates and 10.95% if calculated against revised estimates.
India’s defence budget had slipped to 1.74% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015-16, compared to 1.78% the year before. Experts believe India’s military spending should be around 3% of the GDP to counter China’s rapidly growing military might. India’s military spending stood at 13.88% of total government expenditure in 2015-16.