India is now the world’s fifth largest military spender, figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed.
India’s military expenditure grew around 8.5 per cent to $55.9 billion, in 2016.
As per the figures, the US remains the world’s largest military spender registering a growth of 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion.
China is second on the list spending $215 billion, an increase of 5.4 per cent.
However, the growth rate was “much lower” than in the previous years, the SIPRI report said.
Russia increased its spending by 5.9 per cent to $69.2 billion, making it the third largest spender.
Saudi Arabia, the third largest spender in 2015, dropped to the fourth position in 2016 with its spending dropping by 30 per cent in 2016 to $63.7 billion, despite its continued involvement in regional wars.
Pakistan does not figure in the top 15 spenders, and spent $9.93 billion.
Military expenditure in Western Europe rose for the second consecutive year and was up by 2.6 per cent, while falling oil revenue and associated economic problems attached to the oil-price shock has forced many oil-exporting countries to reduce military spending.
Last year’s global military spending accounted for 2.2 per cent of the worldwide GDP.
Military spending as a share of GDP, was highest in the Middle East with an average of 6.0 per cent, while the lowest was in the Americas, with an average of 1.3 per cent.
However, data for all Middle Eastern countries was not available.
For countries where data is available, substantial increases were seen in Iran and Kuwait, while sizable decreases were noted in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, SIPRI said.
In Asia and Oceania, military expenditure rose by 4.6 per cent in 2016. Spending levels are related to the many tensions in the region such as over territorial rights in the South China Sea.