The MoD’s total expenditure in 2011-12 on Defence was 213673 crores and the Pay and Pension out of it was 92971 crores, which was 44% of the Budget. During UPA tenure the percentage remained almost the same. The capital expenditure was 56282 crores which was 26% of the Budget.
Consider the Revised estimates of 2018-19.
The MoD’s total expenditure was 405194 crores. The Pay and Pension out of it was 224522 crores, which is 56% of the budget. The Capital acquisition out of it is 74116 crores which is 18% of the budget.
Even the lethargic A K Anthony was spending a greater percentage of the Defence budget on capital expenditure.
The defence budget of 2018-19 is 1.8 times bigger than the the budget of 2011-12. The Pay and Pension budget is 2.4 times bigger than the budget of 2011-12. The capital acquisition on the other hand has increased only 1.3 times during this period. Thus it is clear that the NDA is using most of its defence budget on pay and pension and less on capital acquisition.
What is the meaning of this?
The UPA was spending 26% of its Defence budget on modernization, but the Modi government spends only 18%of its budget on that count. As a percentage of GDP the Defence Budget without including pensions is just 1.49% which is the lowest since 1962.
(The author of this article is a PhD Scholar of TERI school of advanced studies, New Delhi. Views and figures shared in this article are personal of the author. The Citizen Dialogue doesn’t endorse it.)