ndia showcases its ‘transparent’ defence expenditures on websites. But the real expenditure in past years has been much greater than that exhibited on websites. In the past, India has unnoticeably increased its defence outlay in revised estimates. Thus the actual defence expenditure is much larger than the initial estimates. 

To a hoodwink general reader, India deflates its defence expenditure through clever stratagems. It clubs military pensions in civil estimates. There are several other quasi-defence provisions that are similarly shoved in civil estimates. Such concealed defence provisions include include public-sector undertakings under MoD like dockyards, machine tool industries (Mishra Dhatu Nigham), and Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited besides space-and-nuke-research projects, border and strategic roads and a host of paramilitary forces. Why India does so? It does so to `lower’ its defence budget as proportion of Gross National Product. Through such ploys, India, as compared with its neighbours, gets a favourable image in The Military Balance, Jane’s Defense, and other international magazines. 

AMJED JAAVED,  

Rawalpindi Cantt, April 28.