Stockholm/ New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India, along with the United States (US) and China, continues to be one of the largest military spenders in the world with the global defence expenditure reaching an all-time high of USD 2.1 trillion in 2021, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday.

In a statement, the SIPRI - a Stockholm-based institute whose headquarter is in Solna - said the global defence expenditure increased by "0.7 per cent in real terms" in 2021 with an improvement in world economy from the aftermats of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels," news agency ANI quoted Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, as saying. "There was a slowdown in the rate of real-terms growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1 per cent."

According to the SIPRI report, the US was the largest military spender with its expenditure reaching USD 801 billion in 2021. However, it dropped by 1.4 per cent from 2020, the SIPRI noted in its report. In the period from 2012 to 2021, the US increased funding for military research and development by 24 per cent and reduced spending on arms purchases by 6.4 per cent, according to the statement.

China was at the second, spending USD 293 billion on its defence in 2021, an increase of 4.7 per cent compared with 2020. The third place went to India, which spent USD 76.6 billion in 2021, an increase of 0.9 per cent when compared with 2020.

"In a push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64 per cent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 were earmarked for acquisitions of domestically produced arms," the SIPRI said.

The United Kingdom (UK) was at the fourth place with a defence expenditure of USD 68.4 billion last year, a 3 per cent hike when compared with 2020. Meanwhile, Russia took the fifth slot with the highest defence spending.

"Russia increased its military expenditure by 2.9 per cent in 2021, to USD 65.9 billion, at a time when it was building up its forces along the Ukrainian border. This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia's military spending reached 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2021," the SIPRI statement read.

"The 'national defence' budget line, which accounts for around three-quarters of Russia’s total military spending and includes funding for operational costs as well as arms procurement, was revised upwards over the course of the year. The final figure was USD 48.4 billion, 14 per cent higher than had been budgeted at the end of 2020."

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma