Who’s concerned about India’s increased defence budget?

Not Pakistan, at least not officially

While noting that India has increased its defence budget in spite of reduced tensions with Pakistan, the Pakistani government has let it be known that it is not overly concerned about the matter at all. That may be in part because, on its part, it spends one-fifth of its budget on the military – with parliament or politicians having no say on this matter at all.

However, some Indian financial experts are trying to show that in spite of this addition, the amount on Indian defence expenditure is still 2.5 per cent of its GDP while in China it is 6 per cent and in Pakistan 5.5. percent. Now which country is spending what percentage of GDP is not the correct comparison. People in China find themselves in a much better economic situation today than the masses in India. In fact, the defeat of the last government in India has been attributed to the economic deprivation of a very large number of Indians for whom there was no “India shinning” (sic) as was claimed by the previous government. As far as Pakistan is concerned, the 5.5 of the GDP that we are spending on defence is because of the war-like posture that our neighbour has been adopting over the years, and the latest demonstration of which can be found in the present Indian budget. Pakistan has continuously been trying to find a peaceful solution to all its outstanding issues with India, but India’s war-like attitude by piling up arms has led to this unnecessary arms race. In fact, Pakistan has been a victim of Indian aggression many times in the past. The only way out, therefore, is that India abandons this aggressive posture. [The News]

The above analysis is wrong for two reasons. Pakistan is the anti-status quo power in South Asia; if its military establishment would drop its ambitions to snatch Kashmir from India there would be little reason to fear India. Even if Pakistan worries about the ‘arms build-up’ in India, as Air Marshal Mohd Asghar Khan argues, its nuclear weapons give it a degree of strategic security that enable Pakistan to scale down its military spending. The trouble is again, a lack of democratic control over security policy and budgets.

Secondly, China has been able to achieve spectacular economic development and growth rates even as it maintained its defence spending at over 3% of its GDP. The view that defence expenditure comes at the cost of development expenditure ignores the fact that security is an important ingredient for economic development.

If China spends 6% of its GDP on defence, or India hikes its defence budget by about 18%, it is because they suppose they can. Pakistan should realise that the choice it faces: pragmatic economic development or dogmatic foreign policy. It cannot hope to have both.

Related Link: George Iype on what the defence spending increase entails.

10 thoughts on “Who’s concerned about India’s increased defence budget?”

  1. My fond hopes of India leading Pak down tha path of bankruptcy due to the latter’s blind insistence of military (and otherwise) parity with India – a giant 7 times its size, may well be belied given Pak’s skilful manipulation of Washington’s largesse.
    Let India focus on its security interests without regard to Pak’s or China’s pious ‘concerns’ on the matter.

  2. It looks like india may catch up to china in terms of military spending, I think it will be a superpower by 2020

  3. I can clearly see that china will be the superpower as their defence and economical spendings are perfectly in order. India is is still in poverty, even the middle class of indian population is more then the whole population of US. India should stop arms race so that their people can get some food. I am in australia and i am sponsering indian boy in india because according to australian TV millions of boys like him are diying of hunger and starvation. Pakistan on the other hand had been under lot of stress due to its strategic location but they have managed to prove that under any circumstances pakistanis are capable of competing agressive countries like india or to manage and establish defence capabilites underlimited amount of resourses.
    China has gone too far but i will address Pakistan and india to move forward and stop arms race because it is a time to spend on people, i think that that you two are already enough weapons. thats it!

  4. Increasing difence budget.wan’t do any good for any national security.So increase in R & Development is the basic idia of any western world that is g-7.

  5. huh;
    where is all this leading us…..double games and all……whom are we kidding……dont forget both jinnah and gandhi were secularists …..the “star studded ” congress and muslim league ended up dividing india…..and we face the consequenses even today…..r we going to be superpowers by possesing kjashmir….winning cricket matches…………..building nuclearweapons…..mollycoddling bush…..letting rice(condoleeza) manipulate us……whom r we kiddin…..our children r not going to have a normal lige if this madness is not stopped…….amen

  6. well most of the opinions posted here are baised or anti India or come out because of the weak knowledge about what india is..! Well India is among the one of the poor countries in the world thats true,but its not a banana republic and if a country to be a global power ,its not necessery to be only in economical terms but in defence capability too.
    My humble request to the friends posting here their opinions, pls do try to get knowledge about India before you express ur views

  7. to jehanzeb:- why dont u sponsor in a poor child in pakistan first? don’t worry too much about about indian child. indian economy is developing at a very fast pace and sooner or later this prosperity will reach grassroot levels. i am also in australia n i have seen many beggars like u stopping people on the way n begging for money for so called “sponsoring a child”.

    “as far as pakistan is concerned, the 5.5 % of the GDP that we are spending on defence is because of the war-like posture that our neighbour has been adopting over the years, and the latest demonstration of which can be found in the present Indian budget.” OH REALLY!! who is running terrorist training camps? who is providing funding to terrorists all over the world? who gave birth to human ogres called taliban?who carried out london bombings? pakistan is a failed state, with majority of world’s known terrorists hiding in the tribal areas,where pak army is afraid to go. i have heard that pak army is the only disciplined organisation in pak. i wonder what the other orgs r like.
    i live in sydney and u know the pakistanis here never reveal their nationality. (i am damn sure u also do the same). whenever u ask them where r u from, they always say we r from india. its amazing!pakistanis here r so embarrased to call themsleves pakis.

    “Pakistan has continuously been trying to find a peaceful solution to all its outstanding issues with India.”
    JOKE OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!! Pakistan has continuously been trying to find a peaceful solution like sending terrorists in kashmir valley n then calling them freedom fighters,murdering moderate kashmiri leaders n also sending suicide bombers to attack assemblies n parliament.

    “Pakistan has continuously been trying to find a peaceful solution to all its outstanding issues with India, but India’s war-like attitude by piling up arms has led to this unnecessary arms race.”

    Do u really believe that there can be an arms race between india n pakistan? well,pak can try n see.soviet union also tried once.this so called credible nuclear detterent of pak may also erode in future,if india decides to deploy weapons in space. moreover if india gets israeli Arrow 2 defence system then paki deterrent will be finished once n for all.

    Set ur own house in order first n then only give this lecture on arms race.

  8. For last 50 years Indian government has tried to market India as poor Country.The main reason is to get different types of foreign aids from IMF,world bank,UK,US etc. Yes its true that there are more then 240 million people living below poverty line.But things are chaging rather fastly now India have more then 127 million faimlies earning more then 2000$ monthly(This is conbined family income given by NCER),Remember India is almost 7 times cheaper then US average prices/lifestyle. More then 30 million mobile phones sold every month,More then 1.1 million Cars sold last year and more then 4.5 million Moter bikes sold in year 2004.India is producing largest number of graduates,post grads,PHD in the world at present.According to world gold council it consumes almost half of the world total gold production every year since 1956.
    Yes its true that econmy is changed lots of things like poverty.From 67% below poverty line population in 1981 to 24% in 2005 according to world bank latest report,same stats about literacy rate, in 1981 there are 33% now about 70% literacy in India .
    Hope India can diversifies its growth in all sectors.

  9. Hello Raj,
    Yar u really made my job easier, I too wanted to reply to this Jananzeb miyan, but I think that you had already given him a befitting treply, and I shall just supplement to your views with which I fully harmonize. Actually I am in Germany and even I had a personal experience where a Pakistani told that he is an Indian to a Ticket checker in a train, but I knew him quite well so I know that he was not an Indian. Pakistanis have some kind of over confidence, I don’t know the reason behind that! And some thing which evem amazes me is the secret behind their mouth force. OOO they have so BIGGG mouths, that knowing well that there is no match between India and pakistan, then also they try to draw out parallels. Actually they have a deep rooted inferiority complex which sublimates in the form of this said behaviour. I can see this in their composture.

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