Indian defence spending will rise by more than a third to INR1,417 billion (USD32.7 billion) in Fiscal Year 2009, according to the interim budget presented by acting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on 16 February.
This figure represents a 34.2 per cent increase from the proposed 2008 budget of INR1,057 billion and a 23.6 per cent increase from the revised 2008 defence spending estimate of INR1,146 billion.
The allocation is nearly 15 per cent of the government's total interim budget of INR9,532.31 billion for the fiscal year beginning on 1 April.
The interim budget is to finance expenditure ahead of the general election scheduled for May 2009.
Of the INR1,417 billion defence budget, planned expenditure has risen 18 per cent for 2009/10 from INR736 billion to INR868.79 billion. This includes INR548.24 billion for capital expenditure as against INR410 billion in the revised estimates for 2008-09.However, defence officials said the 34 per cent rise would be "neutralised" by delays in decision-making by the Ministry of Defence and military officials in confirming equipment acquisitions and modernisation programmes.