Budget 2011-2012: Defence spending up by 12%

Published: June 4, 2011

The military establishment had sought an 18% increase. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan has matched India’s increase in defence spending, jacking up its defence budget by nearly 12 per cent for the next fiscal year amid renewed US pressure for a full-scale military operation in the North Waziristan tribal agency.

Defence allocation has been increased to Rs495.2 billion for 2011-12, compared to last year’s Rs444.2 billion. Interestingly, India had also raised its defence expenditure by 12 per cent in February this year, though the size of their budget is much bigger than Pakistan’s.

Citing resource constraints, the government, however, refused to accept the original request by the military establishment which had sought an 18 per cent increase, or Rs524 billion, for defence expenditure. According to the budget document, of the total Rs495.2 billion, Rs206.4 billion has been allocated for employee-related expenses, Rs128.2 billion for operating expenses and Rs117.5 billion has been set aside for physical assets.

The figures, however, do not include over Rs73 billion allocated for pensions of military personnel that would be paid from the civilian budget and a separate allocation for security-related expenses in a move, which critics say, seeks to conceal the actual defence budget.

Calls have been made for greater scrutiny of the defence spending since the May 2 Abbottabad episode that embarrassed the military establishment over their ignorance of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan and the US operation.

The defence budget has never been debated in detail in parliament. “Parliament should critically review defence allocation in the budget,” said Bushra Gohar, lawmaker from the Awami Nation Party, a coalition partner in the government.

The main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has also questioned the increase in defence spending. “In the long run, it’s a recipe for disaster,” said PML-N’s Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal. “Investing in education is the only way to ensure security,” he added.

However, military officials tried to play down the increase in defence expenditure, arguing that additional funds have been sought to meet expenses of troops’ deployments in restive areas, ration expenses and to offset the impact of the depreciation of rupee against dollar and double-digit inflation.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh briefly commented on the increase in defence spending, saying that the current security situation warranted the hike.

And it is not just the human cost. The battle against militancy has cost Pakistan $68 billion in the same period. Interestingly, while the US has just provided over $13 billion to Pakistan over the last 10 years, the losses in 2010-11 alone were recorded to be $17.9 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2011.

Correction: June 4

Due to a proofreading error, an earlier version of this report had stated the budget to be of 2010-2011. The budget is of 2011-2012.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Mirza
    Jun 4, 2011 - 7:56AM

    It is a merit raise based upon proven track record of successes for a well deserved army. Keep milking the poor motherland. Let the poor Pakistanis fight for the crumbs while you get the biggest piece of the budget pie. We want to make sure that you have the best schools, best play grounds, best free healthcare, DHA, your own banks, and an empire within the country. Poor kids are already going to madarsas. Don’t go to N. Waziristan right now. It is too hot. Should you have to go, delay it till the weather gets better. You may not be able to get AC in there. Recommend

  • fahim
    Jun 4, 2011 - 8:58AM

    ISI/Military is in a mad rush to compete with India. We must match 12% as India. They forget the fact that our military budget is 5 billion dollars, while India’s 33 billion dollars. Indian economy is 12 times our size and growing 4 times faster. Our inflation is 15% while india’s 7%. Our tax to GDP is 8% while India’s 20%. We generate total 19,000 MW power, while India added 18,000 MW in 2010 alone. These military/ISI wishlist for toys has destroyed our country. Shame on us..Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 4, 2011 - 9:24AM

    A well deserved 12% hike for Army/ISI for capturing OBL, stopping PNS attacks, killing journos, managing strategic depth & militants, running bakeries & real estate z& popcorn business, etc. Infact they deserve 100%. Excellent performance.

    Pak Army Zindabad!Recommend

  • Tociph
    Jun 4, 2011 - 9:43AM

    An excellent article. It is sad that despite our army’s recent fiasco the army should be punished for it’s negligence, it’s old root’s with terrorist, instead we are increasing their spending, bailing out the loser. Pakistani people are patronizing the loser creating even more moral hazard for the future.Recommend

  • Shahnawaz Abdullah
    Jun 4, 2011 - 10:12AM

    The article begins with a blatant and misleading lie.

    Pakistan matched India’s increase in defense spending, but they haven’t and can’t match the overall spending. Army is already a heavy burden on budget and an obstacle preventing spending on education sector.

    Just for the info. India’s defense budget stands at whopping $36.03 billion (FY11) while Pak’s is at $5.764 billion.Recommend

  • Pradeep
    Jun 4, 2011 - 10:21AM

    GDP up 2.4%. Defence budget up 12%. Do the math.Please do not compare with India. You do not have China to worry about where at least 1/3rd of our forces are always stationed.Recommend

  • RN
    Jun 4, 2011 - 10:32AM

    Atleast a decent move by government by increasing defense budget.Recommend

  • Siraj Ahsan
    Jun 4, 2011 - 11:17AM

    I was hoping the army will be the first to sacrifice their expense but it seems despite their excesses and recent failures they remain vain.Recommend

  • SJS
    Jun 4, 2011 - 11:27AM

    This is sick. While kids starve and school walls crumble, we are busy stocking up uniforms and arms which are unable to secure us against terrorists. Had we been more mindful of needs in education and health, military budgeting against ‘terrorism’ could have been substantially lower. Belligerence glorified.Recommend

  • atheist
    Jun 4, 2011 - 11:30AM

    “Matched” Recommend

  • Fayaz Shah
    Jun 4, 2011 - 11:43AM

    What purpose will it serve for the benefit of the nation and ordinary people by increasing defence budget instead the education which is more necessary. Our forces are simply proving to be not capable to deal the emergency situations requiring attendtion from them. there are numerous examples of it i.e. Abbotabad incursion, the external forces not only violated our borders but they have managed successfull operation and returned with out any resistance from our forces, they come to know only after the intruders were back..

    one more example is of attack on Mehran base, it is simply unbelieveable that as per official figures 6-8 peoples entered the base and they not only achieved their targets very smoothly but have engaged our around 2000 commandos for more than 16 hrs besides other armed forces. they not only achieved their targets but some of them has escaped very smoothly like hair from butter.

    Now a group of thugs attacked a checkpost in upper Dir, targeted the armed personnels. the question is why not they were provided the support as soon they were attacked. Why do we need to wait untill the entire checkpost is destroyed then we will push new fresh forcess. Point to Ponder, that group of thugs is still roaming around in the area and have not been either eliminated or pushed back to the border from where as per the news item they have entered. It is 3rd day !! I think we need support from any other countries forces to help is resolve this immediate threat.

    It took us 16 hours to deal with 06 intruders than i am affraid how much time it might take to clear upper Dir with hundreds of miscreants.

    My purpose of writing this note is not to criticze any one but we need to support our forces and we should not leave them at the time of crices. I mean when checkpost at upper dir was attacked, we should have defended it with full force even if we needed air support or to send in our commandos so that miscreants could learn a lesson that whatever target they are selecting is not going to be achievable, we should have to follow them untill their elimination.Recommend

  • battering ram
    Jun 4, 2011 - 11:46AM

    way to go.Recommend

  • karthic
    Jun 4, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Now India must jack up the def budget again to pull pak into an arms race……Ah the lessons of thecold war…LOL….Recommend

  • Salman Malik
    Jun 4, 2011 - 12:41PM

    Its Budget 2011-2012! Who does your proof reading?!?Recommend

  • javed
    Jun 4, 2011 - 12:51PM

    Defence budget is very important…this is good step to increase defence budget…and the government have to decrease there own expenditures..they waste our taxes…they waste our money in useles areas…and they spend too much money to president house…this is not fair.. and government have to spend that money to our education system… Recommend

  • Iffo
    Jun 4, 2011 - 1:41PM

    But Pakistanis still awaits for a better life.. Thanx to Allah that we are in much better conditions then others who may be starvingRecommend

  • Saad H
    Jun 4, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Why don’t we ever learn? What have we achieved with a high defence budget all these years? Nothing! Whatever happened to all those speeches about the importance of education?Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Jun 4, 2011 - 2:46PM

    The ancient and age old tactics to keep the royal guards loyal . Throw in some golden coins to the men with spears ,scimitar and swords whenever there were revolts imminent .

    This was the favorite strategy of Roman Caesars Julias , Nero and Calligula to pacify the
    Roman army whenever they needed to buy the loyality , ofcourse to supress the poor and hungry masses of the Roman empire spread over half of the world .

    Our Caesar needs to stick to the throne so badly he would most prob. sell his soul to the
    devil for the favor .

    Hail Zardari …..ooopppppppps Caesar .Recommend

  • sharjeel
    Jun 4, 2011 - 2:58PM

    @Pradeep: but we do have india to worry about,,,,dont we? Recommend

  • gothmog
    Jun 4, 2011 - 3:09PM

    The stupidity displayed by people is so very annoying , people repeating the same lines over and over again, or have we forgotten about the war that the Pak Army is fighting for you. Running military operations is not cheap. The army is putting their lives on the line while their equipment is literally falling apart and people have to complain about a rise in the budget now of all times. You people should be ashamed . Instead of firmly supporting those who protect you while you sleep peacefully at night you have to go and degrade them. A percentage of the top brass maybe corrupt sure, but what of the ordinary soldier fighting on the frontlines? The army is the only institution in the country that dislplays results of the funds it is allocated yet the government walks away scot-free even though it mismanages a big chunk of the funds. Now is the time to be in the army’s corner of the ring. The time for accountability will come. Get your act together peopleRecommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 4, 2011 - 5:16PM

    @fahim:
    And India has 1 000 000 000 more individuals and no War of/on/with Terror as USA-gift.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jun 4, 2011 - 5:42PM

    What civilaina govt and people of Pakistan get is what is left by Armed forces which amounts to nothing. Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 4, 2011 - 6:14PM

    Sharjeel, if we have to increase our defence spending due to threat from India, what are our 100+ nukes for? Recommend

  • ali
    Jun 4, 2011 - 11:17PM

    to do what..kill its own people…as the armed forces are incapable to defend the country against external enemies…more blood sucking of the people…Recommend

  • Jun 5, 2011 - 5:44AM

    Vajpayee’s warning to Pakistan that proved to be right.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXpy8SoN1M4Recommend

  • Good guy
    Jun 5, 2011 - 6:11AM

    Increased budget by 12 % or 100 , our army never protect Pakistan….Which war they won ???? all war against India lost…..War again TTP also lost as daily some Pakistani are dying…

    Our army daily take advice from USA. what they protecting…Nothing…….

    Only on thing they win…that when ever they wants they rule pakistan…..start military rule……Recommend

  • Jun 13, 2011 - 7:05PM

    You’ve hit the ball out the park! Inrcdeilbe!Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 22, 2011 - 1:05PM

    @Mirza:
    sitting in home and talking nonsense about the Army is easy. v r a very foolish nation, v don’t appreciate thousands of lives given by officers and jawans of this prestigious institution just to save this country, to save us who r sitting in our homes and just talking . your comments really shows your childish thinking, a person who talks without knowing the ground realities. u talk about hot weather and all that crap, have u ever seen the harsh conditions in which army trains its men. have u ever visited LOC where our soldiers/officers r living without any light or gas, where a soldier has to go 4 to 5km to fetch only 2 cans water? have u ever been to siachen, where apart from the en bullet ur worst enemy is weather itself?. i hope not. if u r sitting in ur home safe and sound its all because of the Forces. otherwise there would have been a taliban government in pak by now and only god would have known about our fate .u tell me mr mirza what u have done for this country?. only talking will do no good. before pointing fingers on others first look into ur own self. Defence analyst ZAID HAMID said a very beautiful thing, that v r at war. a person who speaks bad about defenders of this country is a traitor and he is no better than the indians. at this hour v must support our forces rather then talking nonsense..Recommend

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