The government on Friday said in the Lok Sabha that India was the third largest spender in the defence sector after the US and China and there was no shortage in the defence budget which had increased.

Citing the report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Ajay Bhatt said India’s spending between 2011 to 2020 rose 76 per cent as against the global average of 9 per cent.

In reply to questions on low defence spending as a percentage of the GDP, posed by DMK’s TR Baalu, Bhatt said, “the defence budget, which was Rs 2,53,346 crore in 2013-14, has more than doubled to Rs 5,25,166 crore in 2022-23. More importantly, spending under the capital outlay which includes modernisation and infrastructure development of the defence services has grown by 76 per cent to Rs 1,52,370 crore in 2022-23 from Rs 86,741 crore in 2013-14. It is the highest among all ministries.”

Bhatt said defence spending trends were encouraging and assured the House there was no shortage in the budget. Intervening, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Kargil Review Committee, which studied defence expenditure in detail, had not recommended any fixation of the defence budget as a percentage of the GDP.