Expenditure on Indias defence sector is expected to cross Rs 3 lakh crore - for the first time ever - in 2019/20, interim finance minister Piyush Goyal announced in the last Budget speech of the current government. The minister also said that the government spent Rs 35,000 crore on the One Rank One Pension scheme it introduced in 2015. But a closer look at defence expenditure numbers show that the government will end up spending more on pensions than bolstering India's defence capabilities.
For instance, the government is planning to spend Rs 1.08 lakh crore on pensions as compared to Rs 93,982 crore on capital outlay (capital spent on new equipment, aircraft et al). This has been the trend in previous financial years as well - 2017/18 and 2016/17. Although defence expenditure as a percentage of total expenditure will go down in 2019/20 - from 11.61 per cent in 2018/19 to 10.96 per cent - the higher spending will not necessarily translate into better global defence competencies.