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Fact Check: Has there been a considerable increase in Defence sector expenditure during the UPA?


A section on the Congress party website talks about expenditure on various sectors during the UPA. Among other things, this section also talks about expenditure on Defence sector. Here is a Fact Check of the same. 


One of the claims made by the Indian National Congress on its website is regarding the expenditure on national security and defense. The website notes that, ‘The Congress-led UPA has always considered the safety and security of each and every citizen of the country with paramount importance. The ten years of UPA rule saw a considerable increase in expenditure on national security and defence, with an increase from 77,000 crore in 2004-05 to 1,93,407 crore in 2012-13.’

Was there a substantial increase in Defence expenditure during the UPA?
The then finance minister while presenting the 2012-13 budget stated that, In the Budget for 2012-13, a provision of 1,93,407 crore has been made for Defence Services which include 79,579 crore for capital expenditure.’

While presenting the budget of 2004-05, the then finance minister stated that, ‘Having high regard to the trend of defence capital expenditure in recent years, it has become necessary to make a higher allocation this year. Accordingly, I propose to increase the allocation for defence to Rs. 77,000 crore (as against Rs. 65,300 crores in BE 2003-04)’

It has to be noted that these numbers are only allocations made and hence the actual expenditure could have been more or less than the allocated amount. We compiled the budget expenditure on the defence sector from 1998-99 (since NDA’s first term). The revised estimate was available from 1998-99 to 2007-08 while the actual expenditure was available from 2008-09 to 2016-17.

The figures show that there has been a continuous increase in the allocation & expenditure on defence with every budget barring 2002-03. This is inline with increasing budget size every year. The allocation for the last few years do not include OROP expenditure. It also has to be noted that the figures mentioned on the Congress website are only allocations and not actual expenditure. For instance, the actual expenditure in 2012-13 was Rs 1,81,776 crores and not Rs 1,93,407 crores.Defence sector expenditure_expenditure

In terms of the increase in allocation for this sector, it has been up and down over the years. The allocation increased by over 20% compared to the previous year only on three (3) occasions in the last 19 years. In the last nine years (both during the UPA 2 & the current government), the increase is less than 12%.Defence sector expenditure_growth in budget

Claim: The ten years of UPA rule saw a considerable increase in expenditure on national security and defence, with an increase from 77,000 crore in 2004-05 to 1,93,407 crore in 2012-13.

Fact: What is mentioned by the Congress on its website is only allocation and not actual expenditure. The actual expenditure in 2012-13 is less than the allocation. It also has to be noted that the allocation for the defence sector has been increasing every year. Hence, the claim is only PARTLY TRUE.

Featured Image: Defence sector expenditure

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here.


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