India's annual defence allocation will go past Rs 3 lakh crore for the first time in history. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in the budget speech the nation is committed to defence modernisation and the welfare of the armed forces.
"For the first time, the defence Budget has been raised to over Rs. 3 lakh crore," the minister said.
"Our soldiers who protect our borders are the pride and honour of the nation. In our election manifesto we promised one rank, one pension. We have resolved this and disbursed over Rs. 35,000 crore in the last few years for our jawans," he said in the budget speech.
In the last year's budget the outlay for defence was Rs 2.95 lakh crore. In comparison, in the Union Budget 2017, the defence allocation stood at Rs.2.62 lakh crore.
Defence analysts have long demanded an increase in the outlay. India's defence allocation has mostly remained less than 2 percent of the gross domestic product. In comparison, neighbour and rival Pakistan spends more than 3 percent of its GDP on defence.
While China's defence spending as a percentage of GDP is around 2 percent, the absolute figure is nearly three times larger than India's defence outlay.
Interestingly, the United States, the world's leading military power, spends as much as 3.6 percent of the GDP on its armed forces.