You are here: Home » Opinion » Columns
Business Standard

A bigger, not better, defence budget

Even as the total allocation has increased, it has fallen as a percentage of GDP

Defence budget | Budget 2022 | Budget at a Glance

Ajai Shukla 

Ajai Shukla

In a perception management exercise that accompanied the annual Union Budget on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sought to convey that it has significantly raised the defence allocations and created the policy conditions needed for the domestic defence industry to flourish and thrive. In a series of upbeat press releases, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s formidable public relations machinery put out the following factual points: First, of the total government outlay of Rs 39.45 trillion in the Union Budget of 2022-23, the MoD was allocated Rs 5.25 trillion, or 13.31 per cent of total government spending. There was silence on the fact that — even as Chinese troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continue squatting on territory that we claim as our own — this was the lowest allocation in percentage terms since the 1950s. Furthermore, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the defence allocation amounted to just 2.03 per cent, threatening to fall below the 2 per cent threshold.



What you get on Business Standard Premium?

  • icon Unlock 30+ premium stories daily hand-picked by our editors, across devices on browser and app.
  • icon Full access to our intuitive epaper - clip, save, share articles from any device; newspaper archives from 2006.
  • icon Curated newsletters on markets, personal finance, policy & politics, start-ups, technology, and more.
  • icon Pick your 5 favourite companies, get a daily email with all news updates on them.
  • icon 26 years of website archives.
  • icon Preferential invites to Business Standard events.


Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, February 03 2022. 23:50 IST