Modest hike in defence budget; total allocation pegged at Rs 5.94 lakh crore

New Delhi:

The defence budget was on Wednesday increased to Rs 5.94 lakh crore for 2023-24 in a modest hike of 13 per cent from last year’s allocation of Rs 5.25 lakh crore amid India’s continuing border row with China in eastern Ladakh and concerns over frequent Chinese forays into the Indian Ocean Region.

In the Union Budget presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a total of Rs 1,62,600 crore was set aside for the armed forces as capital expenditure that largely includes purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware.

“The armed forces have to be battle ready to meet any eventuality. Towards that end, non-salary revenue outlay has been enhanced significantly from Rs 62,431 crore in Budget Estimates (BE) 2022-23 to Rs 90,000 crore in BE 2023-24, representing a 44 per cent jump,” the defence ministry said.