Monday January 30, 2023

Defence budget increased by Rs44 bn to Rs1,370 bn

The proposed defence allocations are 16.1 percent of federal budget’s total outlay of Rs8,480 billion

June 12, 2021
Pakistani military personnel stand beside a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile during Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan March 23, 2019.

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday proposed Rs1,370 billion defence budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 which shows 6.28 percent increase over the estimated allocations for the year 2020-21.

The proposed defence allocations are 16.1 percent of federal budget’s total outlay of Rs8,480 billion, while Pakistan Army’s budget is 7 percent of the total budget. The budget documents show that the defence allocations are 2.8 percent of the GDP.

The government announced defence budget of Rs1,289 billion for the financial year 2020-21, which later was revised to Rs1,326 billion. This year an increase of Rs44 billion has been made in the defence budget.

The major chunk of the budget, which is Rs481.1 billion, would be spent on the employees related expenses including salaries and allowances of defence services, Rs391.4 billion on physical assets, Rs327.1 billion on operating while Rs169.7 billion have been proposed for civil works.

Pakistan defence budget is over 5.5 times less than India’s budget for defence services which was announced earlier this year. In terms of US dollars, Pakistan proposed 8.89 billion dollars for defence sector against India’s budget of over 49 billion dollars for the year 2021-22. The Indian government allocated 18.48 billion dollars only for weapons procurement which is more than double of Pakistan’s total defence budget.

The military sources said the defence budget remained frozen for the fiscal year 2019-20 while there was also no increase in salaries of armed forces for the next financial year. “During this year, the defence needs of the country were met within the available resources despite inflation and Pak rupees devaluation,” the sources said, adding that despite closure of Coalition Support Fund, the defence and security requirements were fulfilled within the indigenous and available resources.

The sources further said that following directives of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), special attention was paid on indigenisation of defence production so that foreign exchange could be saved. The Pakistan Army also spent Rs2.56 billion and Rs297 million on the anti-COVID-19 and anti-locust campaigns, but no additional grant was demanded from the government.

The welfare organisations of the armed forces including Army Welfare Trust, Fauji Foundation etc. paid Rs164.239 billion as taxes and duties for the last fiscal year. As India’s defence budget is over 5.5 times higher than Pakistan’s budget, the adversary spends 42,000 dollars per personnel, while Pakistan’s spending on a soldier is 12,500 dollars per year.