Indian Navy carrier battle group in transit led by aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
Indian Navy carrier battle group in transit led by aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

The military budget or defence budget of India is the portion of the overall budget of Union budget of India that is allocated for the funding of the Indian Armed Forces. The military budget finances employee salaries and training costs, maintenance of equipment and facilities, support of new or ongoing operations, and development and procurement of new technologies, weapons, equipment, and vehicles.[1]

The Indian Army accounts for more than half of the total defence budget of India, with most of the expenditure going to the maintenance of cantonments, salaries and pensions, instead of critical arms and ammunition.[2]


India's defence budget includes allocation for the three defence services, army, navy and air force. It also includes allocation for the ordnance factories, research and development, and capital outlay. Additionally there are civil defence expenditures such as pensions. Unofficial expenditure includes expenses for four of the six Central Armed Police Forces responsible for border security. Space and atomic energy is funded separately.[3]

India's official and non-official defence allocation[3]
Official/ Unofficial Category/ Demand for Grants (DFGs) DCE/DSE
Unofficial MoD (Canteen Store Department, MOD Secretariat, Coast Guard, J&K Light Infantry) Defence Civil (DCE)
Pensions and other benefits
Official Defence Budget Running/ Operating Expenses Army (including National Cadet Corps, Director General Quality Assurance, Military Farms and Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme) Defence Services (DSE)
Navy (Joint Staff)
Air Force
Defence Ordnance Factories
Defence Research and Development
Capital expense Capital outlay (Capital expenditure of all services including NCC, Ordnance Factories and DGQA)
Unofficial Border Roads Organisation, Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal, Border Management, CAPF construction, Border Outposts


Share of defence services in defence budget in 2020-21[4]

  Air Force (23.0%)
  Army (56.0%)
  Navy (15.0%)
  DRDO (6.0%)
  Other (0%)
India's military expenditure (in billion $) and as % of GDP, 1985 to 2018. (Data via World Bank and SIPRI)
India's military expenditure (in billion $) and as % of GDP, 1985 to 2018. (Data via World Bank and SIPRI)


Union Minister for Finance allocated 359,000 crore (equivalent to 4.3 trillion or US$54 billion in 2020) of the 2017 Union budget of India for development in the Indian armed forces, marking a raise of around 7% from the previous fiscal year.[5][6]


In presenting the Defence Budget of 2018-19 Finance Minister allocated ₹4,04,365 crore (US$ 63 billion) for the Ministry of Defence (MOD).[7] This translates into an increase of 5.66% over 2017-18 defence budget.


As 2019 was an election year the NDA government presented an interim budget in place of a regular budget as per the general practice. In the interim budget an allocation of ₹4,31,011 crores (US$61.573 billion) was made.[8] On its re-election the NDA government kept the military budget unchanged. However the actual expenditure exceeded the estimated amount and final spending of defence for 2019-20 stood at ₹4,48,820 crores (US$62.71 Billion).[9] So there was an increase of around 10% with respect to previous budget.


The allocation for defence during the fiscal year 2020-21 stood at (US$73.86 Billion).[9] This amounted to an increase of nearly 9%.


The allocation for defence during the fiscal year 2022 -23 stood at 76.88 billion dollar, making it the third highest in the world after USA and China.[10]

Spending (% of GDP)

Year Ruling coalition Expenditure (%) Change
2021 2.66 0.22Decrease
2020 2.88 0.36Increase
2019 2.52 0.10Increase
2018 2.42 0.09Decrease
2017 2.51 0.00
2016 2.51 0.10Increase
2015 2.41 0.09Decrease
2014 2.50 0.03Increase
2013 2.47 0.07Decrease
2012 2.54 0.11Decrease
2011 2.65 0.06Decrease
2010 2.71 0.18Decrease
2009 2.89 0.34Increase
2008 2.55 0.21Increase
2007 2.34 0.18Decrease

The above statistics were collected by World Bank up to 2018.[11]

Capital Acquisition

Armed force BE 2013-14 (₹ in Cr) RE 2013-14 (₹ in Cr) Under/over spending (₹ in Cr) Under/over spending (%) Interim 2014-15 (₹ in Cr) % Growth of interim 2014-15 over BE 2013-14
Army 23,423.23 10,871.22 2,525.82 18.95 20,920.20 56.83Increase
Navy 19,972.78 19,234.32 3,614.47 15.39 23,020.86 1.95Decrease
Air Force 37,048.06 36,016.54 1,031.52 2.78 31,817.89 14.12Decrease
Total 73,853.88 66,682.07 7,171.81 9.71 705,738.95 2.55Increase

The above data was published by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Navlakha, Gautam (1999). "Defence Spending: Cost of Fighting Imaginary Enemies". Economic and Political Weekly. 34 (19): 1085–1088. ISSN 0012-9976. JSTOR 4407922.
  2. ^ "Defence Manufacturing in India". Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b Behera 2015, p. 236-238.
  4. ^ Behera, Laxman Kumar (4 February 2021). "India's Defence Budget 2020-21". MP-IDSA. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  5. ^ Behera, Laxman K (3 February 2017). "India's Defence Budget 2017-18:An Analysis". Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. IDSA. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  6. ^ "India's defence budget hiked 10pc to INR 2.74 trillion". Dawn. Reuters. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. ^ Gurung, Shaurya Karanbir (1 February 2018). "Budget 2018: Defence sector gets a boost by 7.81%". Economic Times. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  8. ^ Behera, Laxman Kumar (8 July 2019). "India's Defence Budget 2019-20". MP Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b Behera, Laxman Kumar (4 February 2020). "India's Defence Budget 2020-21". MP Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  10. ^ "World military expenditure passes $2 trillion for first time". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
  11. ^ "Military expenditure (% of GDP) - India | Data". Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  12. ^ Behera, Laxman Kumar (23 February 2014). "India's Interim Defence Budget 2014-15: An Appraisal". MP Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 20 July 2014.


Further reading