Budget 2014: Govt announces 700bn defence budget

Published: June 3, 2014
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Defence expenditure almost doubled in last five years.

Defence expenditure almost doubled in last five years.

ISLAMABD: Defense budget has been jacked up to Rs700. 2 billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year fiscal year beginning on July 1, compared with Rs 627.2 billion allocated in the outgoing fiscal year, showing an increase of Rs 73 billion.

The military, however, had sought an increase of Rs 173 billion in defence spending for the coming fiscal year.

Military officials defended the increase insisting that Pakistan military’s expanses are lowest in the region given the volatile security environment.

The budget document presented before the parliament did not give a break up about the allocation of defence spending among the three forces.

But according to defence ministry officials, out of the whole defence budget, Pakistan Army gets 48 per cent while 20pc goes to Pakistan Air force and Navy’s share is 10pc.

According to the budget document 2014-15, out of that Rs 700.2 billion, Rs 293.5 billion have been allocated for employees related expenses, Rs 180.2 billion for operating expenses and Rs 152.8 billion have been earmarked for physical assets.

However, the figures do not include Rs 163.4 billion allocated for pensions of the military personnel that would be given from the civilian budget and a separate allocation for the security related expenses in a move, which critics say seeks to conceal the actual defense budget.

In addition to this, military would also be given Rs 165 billion under the contingent liability and Rs 85 billion under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

This means that in reality a whopping Rs 1113 billion has been allocated for the military, which is about 28.2 percent of the country’s total budget.

While reviewing the budget brief of previous years, it was revealed that in last five years while the defence expenditure has been almost doubled from around 350 billion in 2009-10 to Rs700 billion this year, the rate at which it has been increasing has been diminishing.

In 2009-10, government increased the defence budget by 21.46 per cent, which was reduced to 17.58 per cent in 2010-11. In 2011-12 the defines expenditure was raised at the rate of 14.73, which further slipped to 11.79 per cent in 2012-13.

Defense budget has remained a sensitive and controversial subject in the country and there have been calls for greater scrutiny of the spending.

The defense budget has never been debated in detail in the Parliament.

But Senate’s Defence Committee has recently taken the initiative to publicly discuss the military spending.

Pakistan raises its defense spending every year because of its historically uneasy relations with old rival India.

India earlier this year boosted military spending by 10 per cent for the coming year as it seeks to counter China’s rapid military build-up and its traditional rival Pakistan.

Defense analysts believe given the internal security challenges much of the increase in the defense budget by Pakistan is likely to be spent on the fight against militancy.

 

Reader Comments (24)

  • Anonymous
    Jun 3, 2014 - 9:30PM

    So huge defence budget for a poor country.Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Jun 3, 2014 - 11:02PM

    Cant the top Generals of Pakistan be courageous enough to take pay cuts for the poor people? May be instead of getting 2/3 plots, perhaps 1 will be enough. Getting half price on PIA/Railways travel, perhaps paying like every one else will be a good start. What about paying their electric and gas bills.

    If you are reading this and you are a higher ranked officer in Pakistani military establishment, please cut your costs. For 70 years we are supporting you and all you have given us back is 100% losing record in every war you fought…

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  • Jibran
    Jun 3, 2014 - 11:02PM

    @Anonymous:
    That excludes the pensions, benefits and plots for the retired armed forces officials and soldiers.
    You add that and also the outstanding electricity and gas dues, as well as exclusive subsidies, it hits close to a trillion rupees.

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Jun 3, 2014 - 11:51PM

    @Anonymous:
    No it is not. Govt should tax the rich people, say people in the upper 10% bracket and that money should also be transferred to the defence portfolio

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  • Irtiza Ali
    Jun 4, 2014 - 1:18AM

    It will be great if some one proof reads the article before publishing. There should not be glaring mistakes like expanse and defines instead of expense and defence.

    Recommend

  • Umer
    Jun 4, 2014 - 1:46AM

    Oh God, 700 Billion down the drain.

    Education is the real strength of a nation. Everything else including defence technology comes out of that.Recommend

  • Usman Mubashir
    Jun 4, 2014 - 4:42AM

    For people crying out for the loss of 700 billion, I think this piece of the budget is probably the most efficiently used one! have at least some sense! Pakistan has to counter off foreign threats not only terrorism and just for contrast, Indian defence budget is over 2 trillion INR, roughly 4 trillion PKR,
    The argument cannot be countered by saying that Pakistan is smaller than India, the problem still exists. And India is just one of the many issues.
    How do you think Pakistan counter this? by cutting defence budget in half? We are just on the brink of eliminating several threats and cutting defence will mean we might never be able to do that.
    These 700 billions do not go into pockets of the powerful where much of the rest ends up, army generates quiet a handful sum already to ease the defence budget. Please if you have no sense of threat, stop spreading misconceptions.

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  • John Smith
    Jun 4, 2014 - 8:03AM

    What is the need for such a big Military budget for a poor country while it is already Nuclear Power. The Nuclear Arsenal is by itself a deterrent, use the money for the betterment of the economy and the people rather than spending it on a few, who are blessed and behind the cannon and the baton. Democracy is shadowed by the boots and let us see if it will ever end soon.

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  • Wolfskiss
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:05AM

    Countries where the political government is a mix of corrupt people and the neighbours are always willing to take over; there is a dire need to have large armed forces for its protection. Same is the problem with this nation. That point is well understood that higher hierarchy i.e. the general officer should be given at maximum two plots and the rest of the officer just one. On the other hand if you know the higher ups they are getting more than ten plots apart from other facility which is wrong and must be stopped herewith. We should be thinking in more patriotic way.Recommend

  • rakesh
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:13AM

    What else can one expect from the land of eternal darkness ? another move full speed to darkness

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Jun 4, 2014 - 3:41PM

    @rakesh:
    Can you mind your own business?

    Recommend

  • A Patriot Soldier
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:57PM

    @H. Chaoudhry.
    If you do not know the whole truth, please avoid exposing your poor knowledge. How the plots are managed, whether the utility bills are paid or not and how the military system works, please contact some military officer for briefing, he will guide you and clear your doubts. Do not forget Fauji Foundation and Army Welfare Trust. And remember PIA and railways and steel mills and much much more…

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  • kahlon
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:48PM

    Pakistan is poor nation but mostly people do not object huge defense budget and as result Pakistan army should respect and safe guard the people of Pakistan, there property, there respect, and then army can get respect too from society. if army shows no obedience towards supremacy of law and democracy in pakistan then this huge budget is useless for pakistan, even all which has been spend so far in pakistan history is useless because we have been conquer by our own army several time s. so in this way only two politician brothers shujat and pervaiz elahi can fame the army not all the society or all the people of pakistan.

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 5, 2014 - 9:42AM

    Out 700Bn, 100Bn will go to Proxies..
    Education, Health are not priorities…
    Balochistan’s Budget is 200Bn. Schools are being closed in Panjgoor Balochistan.. who cares..

    Recommend

  • Habib Ur Rehman
    Jun 5, 2014 - 10:40AM

    No doubt nine core peoples are touching below poverty line but we could not forget marginal variance of defence services made or in progress contingent plan. It’s not a big change if we look into conditions specially on boundaries overall in the country after 9/11 and monetary impact Rs.2,526 Million during 2013-14 budgeted or revised justified, rationally. I fully trust on our Army exceptionally.

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  • Munir Ahmad
    Jun 5, 2014 - 11:12AM

    Do not grudge the Rs 700 billion odd allocated to Defence in the 2014-25 Budget. Never forget that we face an enemy that is obsessively committed to breaking up what is left of an already truncated Pakistan. Baluchistan and KPK are the new frontiers where our enemy spares no effort to try and undermine Pakistan in collaboration with its proxies. Today however we have an “equalizer” that deters ALL our enemies. But we still need a strong conventional army to have a credible defensive posture. Rs 700 billion is the bare minimum that we must spend to ensure our freedom.

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  • Ashar Pervez
    Jun 5, 2014 - 7:20PM

    @Umer: I salute your wisdom.

    Recommend

  • Khurram Mehmood
    Jun 18, 2014 - 4:03PM

    @H Chaudhry:
    For all the fellows blaming army personnel, here are some points to ponder,
    1. All of the people employed in army are tax payers.
    2. The “plots” are paid by the person and not given free to em, however as they are bought by Army when the prices were low, hence the cost personnel pay is less. It is one of the welfare measure taken by army just like other organizations i.e. police foundation etc. So try to appreciate something if an organization is doing it right rather then pulling its leg :)
    3. All the utility bills are paid and not even a cup of tea is provided free of cost.
    4. Ever bothered to consider how wars are won? strength of your active army is barely 600k while India is holding 700k in Kashmir alone, so Pakistan army has done its part to not let you get over run by your neighbours and if it was not for all the corrupt politicians war of 1971 could’ve bee won as well.

    Recommend

  • Naveed Chaudhry
    Jul 23, 2014 - 2:22AM

    All i could see here are jealous people. They do not know anything and just writing whatever they hear on tv. Poor nation with jealous people and followers of corrupt media..sad and shame !

    Recommend

  • KK Kool
    Aug 5, 2014 - 1:16AM

    @H Chaudhry:
    Have you travelled to USA? Do you know how much do they appreciate their military?
    Do you know how many kids of military personnel are now orphans?
    You have been supporting for 70 years and they are being butchered for who?

    I can only say people like you are big source of de-motivation for people at borders. If you cannot appreciate please don’t be a source of demotivation.

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Aug 5, 2014 - 6:23AM

    @KK Kool:
    I have been living in USA for the last 38 yrs. Can you tell me how many kids are orphan by now. Please. I have not seen that number so far.

    Recommend

  • Zohaib Babar
    Aug 7, 2014 - 2:14AM

    @Umer:
    @H Chaudhry:
    Every army officer pays for the plots throughout their service in installments and also pays for gas and electricity so kindly polish your knowledge before posting any comment..

    Recommend

  • aftab rameez
    Aug 11, 2014 - 4:30PM

    I read almost all comments and feel sad about those who have misconceptions about defence spending.These people really need to improve their Knowledge before commenting and penning down anything.These facilities are not unique to Defence Forces of Pakistan .All nations of the world provide same facilities to their armed forces to keep their morale high.This is the job where you are paid for your life,the most precious thing one has.Secondly noting is free in armed forces.It
    is only through better management that one is benefited.All officers pay for their plots and house throughout their service.Just think that maximum of officers get retired at early age where they have to look for another job after giving their youth and prime time for the country.But unfortunately people having misguided concepts can’t understand all this.

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  • Oct 17, 2014 - 12:38AM

    Good to read thoughtful analysis. I would tend to agree with Mr. Aftab Rameez. He’s right when he says that we must know the whole truth before we comment. One thing to remember is that there is nothing like free lunch. Every one whether armed forces or our civilian brethren, all have to pay for what they do and what they get. What all civilians think about armed forces are misconceptions and I know that all defence personnel pay for whatever benefits their institution manages for them. Visit Sialkot cantonment and city and feel the difference. This difference is because of better institutional management. What they think about themselves, both sides, are again misconceptions. What is need to be understood is that we all need to excel in our respective fields. If our civil society was more dynamic, Pakistan would not be so low. Why do we face enery crisis because noone after Mr. Ayub Khan took the pain to make new dams. Why do we face terrorism because our generals and statesmen(politicians) failed to read the foreign narratives and vested interested and took the bait. We can go on and on blaming both sides, but in my opinion what is important is that we understand what we need to do to move on. There is no use crying over spoiled milk. We must in our capacities work sincerely to make a better Pakistan. Defense is a necessity and this institution is pride of every nation. USA spends US $ 900 Bn on their defense, ours is just 0.08 % of it. India spends US $ 46 Bn on defense. Defense is our necessity and so is a vibrant civil society. Young people it is good that future of Pakistan thinks about betterment of our motherland. We must do it for National Unity keeping National interest supreme and I have no doubt that Pakistan has a very bright future. Read history, France was exactly facing same kind of problems in eighteenth century, what we face today and than they changed. Only thing needing correction is Direction. May Allah bless you all, Aameen.

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