ISLAMABAD: The government has proposed almost unchanged allocation of Rs1,152 billion for the defence budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020 as compared to revised budgetary allocation of Rs1,137 billion for the financial year 2018-2019 without compromising on defence and security.
The budgetary allocations for upcoming financial year starting on July 01, 2019 would see drastic reduction in terms of US dollars to 7.6 billion dollars from last year’s allocations of 9.25 billion dollars due to considerable devaluation of Pak rupee.
The last financial year showed an increase of little over 10 percent from the revised estimates of Rs998 billion for the year 2017-2018 to cater to needs of the armed forces and other defence-related establishments.
The proposed defence budget for the year 2019-20 is about 18.2 percent of the total current expenditure of Rs6,192.9, whereas the defence budget was 26 percent of the total estimated current expenditure of Rs4,178 billion for ongoing year.
The budget documents show that the proposed allocation for THE Pakistan Army for the year 2019-2020 reduced to Rs523.3 billion as compared to revised allocations of Rs552.5 billion for the fiscal year 2018-2019. The employees’ related expenses will be Rs310 billion.
It also worth mentioning that Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor in a tweet on June 5 had stated that voluntary cut in defence budget for a year would not be at the cost of defence and security. “Three services will manage impact of the cut through appropriate internal measures,” he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also appreciated unprecedented voluntary initiatives of stringent cuts by the armed forces. As per the tweet, the Pakistan Army’s budget showed an increase for physical assets whereas there is considerable reduction of Rs20 billion in head of civil works which include buildings and structures.
The budgets of Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have been increased by almost Rs62 billion with main focus on allocations for the physical assets. The Pakistan Navy’s budget had been increased from ongoing year’s revised estimates of Rs119.6 billion to Rs143.1 billion with main focus on enhancement in allocations for physical assets from ongoing year’s revised estimates of Rs55.1 billion to little over Rs70 billion for the upcoming year.
The PAF would receive Rs276.5 billion against the previous budget’s revised estimates of Rs238.5 billion with Rs57.5 billion going to employees-related expenses. The allocation for PAF’s physical assets has been proposed to increase to 147.9 billion from ongoing year’s revised estimates of Rs120.2 billion.
Similarly, the allocation from defence production had also been increased from revised estimates of Rs225.7 billion to Rs265.3 billion for the upcoming year. It may also be pointed out here that the Indian government in February last announced defence budget of 44.6 dollars which is six times more than Pakistan’s defence budget.