Govt allocates Rs 781b for defence expenditure
The federal government has allocated Rs 781 billion for expenditure on defence, which is 11 per cent higher than last year’s allocation, with Rs 39.415 billion budgeted expenditure on civil armed forces for the next fiscal year.
Defence experts said Pakistan’s defence budget had declined as a percentage of total outlay. In 2003, the national budget was Rs 828 billion, with defence budget of Rs 175 billion constituting a significant 21 per cent of total, they said. But in 2014-15, the national budget increased to Rs 4,302 billion, while defence budget totalled Rs 700.148 billion, translating into16.2 per cent of total budget.
They said in the 2015-16 budget, the defence budget occupies third spot at 16.6 per cent of total expenditure, after debt services (31%) and general public services (28%). A comparison of various countries with regards to defence spending per soldier per annum depicts that Pakistan spends $8,077 under the head, whereas India’s expenditure is $17,554, they added.
They further said that the defence budget (Rs 781 billion) is for the entire armed forces, including strategic forces and civil armed forces.
Out of the Army’s total allocation (Rs 331.412), last year the maximum was spent on non-development expenses for maintaining the army like Pay & Allowances (Rs 311.42 billion which is 94 per cent of the total allocation). Only six per cent (Rs 19.88 billion) were left for development expenses, they added.