Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 15
Despite having cut down on imports of weapons and military equipment, India continues to be the second largest importer accounting for 9.5 per cent of all arms sales during 2016-2020.
The good news, however, is that Indian imports are down by around 33 per cent as compared with the previous five-year block (2011-2015), when the country accounted for 14 per cent of all sales globally.
The Sweden-based think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its annual report in this regard today.
Titled “Trends in International Arms Transfers-2020”, it says, “India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2016-2020 and accounted for 9.5 per cent of the global total.”
The 33 per cent drop in India’s arms imports between 2011-15 and 2016-20 seems to be mainly due to its “complex and lengthy procurement processes”, combined with its attempts to reduce its dependence on Russian arms, said the report. For 2016-2020, Russian supplies made up 49 per cent of all Indian imports, making it the biggest supplier. France and Israel followed with 18 and 13 per cent, respectively.
India’s arms imports from France increased by 709 per cent. This was mainly attributed to procurement of Rafale jets and associated missiles.
At the global level, the US emerged as the biggest seller, accounting for 37 per cent of all sales, while Russia stood second with 20 per cent share. India ranked 24th among arms exporters.
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