Bengaluru: The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Tuesday March 15 sought an answer from the Centre as to why defence funding is falling despite rising national security threats, including from China.
Sharing a reply to a parliamentary question by the Defence Ministry on Twitter, Kharge said, “Defence expenditure as a percentage of Central government expenditure has fallen from 17.7 per cent to 13.3 per cent in the last five years. Does the government have an answer as to why defence funding is falling while national security threats, including from China, are increasing?”
As per the reply to Kharge’s question, budget estimate 2022-23 has earmarked Rs 5,25,166 crore for defence expenditure, while Central Government Expenditure (CGE) is Rs 39,44,909 crore, which is 13.31 per cent of CGE.
In the revised estimate (RE) for 2021-22, 13.34 per cent of CGE is allocated for defence expenditure. Rs 5,02,884 crore is allocated for defence expenditure against the CGE of Rs 37,70,000 crore in 2021-22 RE.
In 2017-18 (actual), defence expenditure was 17.73 per cent of CGE, and in 2018-19 it was 17.43 per cent. The defence expenditure of CGE had further fallen to 16.86 per cent in 2019-20 and to 13.84 per cent in 2020-21.
In 2017-18, the CGE was Rs 21,41,973 crore and defence expenditure was Rs 3,79,702 crore, while in 2018-19 the CGE was Rs 23,15,113 crore and defence expenditure was 4,03,457 crore.
In 2019-20, the defence expenditure was Rs 4,52,996 crore and CGE was Rs 26,86,330 crore. In 2020-21, defence expenditure was Rs 4,85,681 crore and CGE was Rs 35,09,836 crore.