Military purse may be twice as large as budgeted

Published: June 6, 2012
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Military may be 
allocated up to Rs913 billion, or one-third of federal budget. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD COPYRIGHTS: ROVIO

Military may be allocated up to Rs913 billion, or one-third of federal budget. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD COPYRIGHTS: ROVIO

ISLAMABAD: 

As opposed to a stated spending of Rs545 billion, or one-sixth of the federal budget, Pakistan may actually be spending around Rs913billion, or 31% of next year’s Rs2.96 trillion budget, on defence.

Besides the overt budget, an additional amount will be provided to the military out of its share in the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), expected to be disbursed by the United States, and services fees from the United Nations on account of military personnel involved in peacekeeping missions.

Besides this, a significant chunk will be provided from the budget to pay pensions to retired military officials and for progressing country’s defense development programme.

When combined with allocations to the country’s interest payments, which amount to Rs1.1 trillion, or 35% of the total budget, only one-third of the budget is left for running the government, and development.

Additional allocations

For the next fiscal, the government has budgeted receiving Rs150 billion from the US on account of CSF reimbursements and, according to an arrangement between the military and the civilian leadership, as much as 60% of the CSF reimbursements would be given to the military. By that account, the military will get Rs90 billion next year, provided, of course, that the US reimburses the outstanding amount.

The United Nations, meanwhile, will provide Rs30 billion next year on account of services fee for Pakistani forces taking part in peacekeeping missions under the UN flag.

The government has also allocated Rs98 billion for military pensions, according to the budget documents. For the sake of pensions, the military insists that, after retirement, military officials should be treated as ‘civilians’. When it comes to accountability, though, retired military officials are prosecuted under military laws. Currently, the General Headquarters is not allowing the National Accountability Bureau to independently probe three former military generals who have been named in the Rs1.8 billion National Logistic Cell scam by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Besides that, an additional Rs150 billion will be given to the army for taking forward the country’s defence programme.

Of the Rs545.3 billion stated budget, Rs264.4 billion has been set aside for the army, Rs114.2 billion for the air force and Rs52.8 billion for the navy. Besides that, Rs114 billion has been placed under the head of establishment and organs account.

Transparency

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan recently joined the chorus of voices demanding that the military’s budget be audited, but the Auditor General of Pakistan Akhtar Buland Rana informed the PAC that some of the military sub-departments were resisting the audit.

In the post-budget press conference, Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh avoided the question regarding the actual defence budget but said that his team “will respond.”

The finance ministry, however, did not respond till the filing of the story.  “Once in an international conference, held in Washington, an American diplomat stressed the need to cut the defence budget,” said Saeed Ahmad Qureshi, a former federal finance secretary. “I responded that our defense budget is not made in Islamabad but in New Delhi; to reduce defense expenses, the Americans should push Indians to reduce their defense budget,” Qureshi said.

He added that, historically, Pakistan’s defence budget is based on a certain proportion of the Indian defence budget, aimed at maintaining a defensive deterrent against any Indian offence.

Qureshi, however, seconded Imran Khan, saying transparency is imperative and people should know what is happening with taxpayers’ money.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Amaar
    Jun 6, 2012 - 7:41AM

    ET’s cartoonist is awesome! Angry Birds!

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  • Ashraf P
    Jun 6, 2012 - 8:25AM

    The “real” military budget is twice as much as allocated ? “35% of the total budget”?? And yet the Americans came and went and nobody was none the wiser. I wish I could say that “35% of the budget” is a good investment. It is simply not.

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  • GhostRider
    Jun 6, 2012 - 8:42AM

    the picture is hilarious… lol

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  • John B
    Jun 6, 2012 - 8:49AM

    Spending 1/3 of the budget in military expenses, mostly overhead, is not going to protect PAK. If any, this will be the cause of the crisis.

    At this rate, PAK may even borrow from Indians for her budget expenses, indirectly through PAK bonds.

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  • Jun 6, 2012 - 9:40AM

    ET what do u want just tell us why u want military budget to be lowered ?

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  • Truthbetold
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:40AM

    @Ashraf P:
    Mind you it does not include the $2.5B nuke and missile programs. Also not included are ISI’s budget, military pensions and interest payment on military purchases.

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  • Saraf
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:57AM

    With close to Rs. 1 trillion, you can change Pakistan average people life who is having hard time on daily basis to survive.

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  • ahmad
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Other problem being accountability. This money does not go for preparation rather on Shadi Halls, Fauji foundations, bakeries etc.

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  • azhar
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:48AM

    as chief of army staff said in an interview that army uses only 9 to 10% of budget for defense. that mean remaining budget is being used else where ……… (DHA, AWT,FF etc)

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  • Jun 6, 2012 - 11:08AM

    “I responded that our defense budget is not made in Islamabad but in New Delhi; to reduce defense expenses, the Americans should push Indians to reduce their defense budget”

    India is growing at double the pace of Pakistan, consequently so is its military. So, India by just growing is making sure Pakistan suffers. With these kind of adversaries, your job will get much easier.

    Pakistanis are digging their own grave. They have to realize that India is better as a friend, dangerous as an enemy for Pakistan.

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  • Javaid R. Shami
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:38AM

    How to eat your cake and have it too!

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  • Shyam
    Jun 6, 2012 - 12:57PM

    If the coalition support fund does not materialize then its more than 40% of the budget. Why should the coalition fund you when you dont support them

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  • Ajamal
    Jun 6, 2012 - 3:38PM

    To Shyam,
    1- whether or not Pakistan supports them, coalition fund is a reimbursement of direct expenses only;

    2- Pakistan’s loss in this senseless war is massive. Putting together direct, indirect and consequential losses it amounts to around $100billion. This is on top of thousands of human lives.

    Thanks to Pakistan’s leadership (both military and civilian)!!!!

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  • Noor
    Jun 6, 2012 - 4:07PM

    Reading the figures mentioned in Budget, this post seems in-accurate. Infact, Pakistan’s military budget remains constant or gets lesser in percentage every year for last few years.

    Moreover, rather than creating a hype, we need to know the reasons for spending on defence. India, not only has been increasing its Pakistan centered defence(rather offence) budget, but has also undertaken strategic partnership with US.
    Additional threat is posed by hostile presence on our western border for the last 10+ years.

    Come on see the ground realities, before spreading negative propaganda.

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  • Khan
    Jun 6, 2012 - 4:23PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    And What do you want Sir!. This is a news paper website and its their duty to report whatever is happening around us, not hide is.
    We spend all this money on buying ready made toys that need constant after care and that costs a hefty amount despite the fact that most of them will be obsolete after just few decades due to improvement in technologies around the world by country who give more importance to education and thus are able to create new things in all fields.
    This cycle will only end if we dedicate a huge amount of our budget to education and control our overpopulation, thus investing for long term .. which will us educated minds and we will be able to produce things in every field instead of importing them. That will give us strong economy and our reliance on imports will decrease in every field including in the field of defense.

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  • revo
    Jun 6, 2012 - 4:28PM

    **Pakistan Budget 2012 (Total Volume ) = Rs 2960 Bn Defence budget = Rs 545 Bn.

    Now 545 / 2960 * 100 = 18.4% of Total Budget. Defence budget is for Army ,Navy and Air Force.

    Army gets 50% (272 Bn) Navy 25% (136 Bn) Air force 25% (136 Bn)

    The figures Prove that Army Gets only 9% of Total Budget**

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  • Polpot
    Jun 6, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @John B: “Spending 1/3 of the budget in military expenses, mostly overhead, is not going to protect PAK. If any, this will be the cause of the crisis.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Nuclear arms but no electricity and little water.
    Pakistan made their choices with eyes wide open.

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  • Polpot
    Jun 6, 2012 - 4:34PM

    “He added that, historically, Pakistan’s defence budget is based on a certain proportion of the Indian defence budget, aimed at maintaining a defensive deterrent against any Indian offence.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Very interesting. Despite such meticulous planning Pakistan never one any war against India.
    Obviously a large spend of this budget is on “proxy fighters”

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  • Naresh
    Jun 6, 2012 - 5:29PM

    .
    @revo Ji:
    .
    You stated : Pakistan Budget 2012 (Total Volume ) = Rs 2960 Bn Defence budget = Rs 545 Bn.
    .
    Now 545 / 2960 X 100 = 18.4% of Total Budget. Defence budget is for Army ,Navy and Air Force.
    .
    Army gets 50% (272 Bn) Navy 25% (136 Bn) Air force 25% (136 Bn)
    .
    The figures Prove that Army Gets only 9% of Total Budget

    .
    I draw your attention to the following :

    For the next fiscal, the government has budgeted receiving Rs150 billion from the US on account of CSF reimbursements and, according to an arrangement between the military and the civilian leadership, as much as 60% of the CSF reimbursements would be given to the military. By that account, the military will get Rs90 billion next year, provided, of course, that the US reimburses the outstanding amount.
    .
    Besides that, an additional Rs150 billion *will be given to the army for taking forward the country’s defence programme.
    .
    The United Nations, meanwhile, will provide *
    Rs30 billion
    next year on account of services fee for Pakistani forces taking part in peacekeeping missions under the UN flag.
    .
    The government has also allocated Rs98 billion for military pensions, according to the budget documents
    .
    Thus Rs. 545 + Rs. 90 + Rs 150 + Rs 30 + Rs. 98 (All in Billions) Equates a Total Defence Spending of Rs. 913 Billion.
    .
    You can now work out the percentages!
    .
    Cheers

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  • Zalim Singh
    Jun 6, 2012 - 5:37PM

    good

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  • gp65
    Jun 6, 2012 - 8:24PM

    @BruteForce: Good point. Not only is India growing at twice the rate as Pakistan, India’s tax to GDP ratio is almost double of Pakistan. Keeping both those things into account, the choices Pakistan is making reflects in things like their loadshedding problem.

    One more thing 913 bilion may be 33% f budget but it is almost 50% of tax revenues collected (Proposed tax revenue is 1.84 trillion and rest is deficit financing).
    thos e blaming government for taking more loans should ask themselves – if 61% of tax revenues go for debt servicing and 50% of tax revenues go for defence, is there a way t run the government without getting into serious deficit?

    Pakista KNOWS they have no choice but to reduce defence udget. They know that the only way they can do that is by making peace with India but when the time comes to actually sign on the dotted line that would take peace process further – whether on the vias issue or Sir Creek or MFN, the heart prevails over the mind.

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  • R.A
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:37PM

    Wheneve Pakistan testfire new weapons
    ordinary Pakistans in streets shout slogans
    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD and tell India
    whatever you can do we will do better
    when they see the money spent they
    start crying.
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  • kaalchakra
    Jun 7, 2012 - 1:22AM

    ET, you must cease and desist. You are getting into areas that are not your domain.

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  • Polpot
    Jun 7, 2012 - 8:09AM

    No wonder that the Govt and Army are drooling over the US 5000 charge per container from Karachi to Kabul
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Budgetary Compulsions!

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  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 7, 2012 - 11:16AM

    @kaalchakra: “ET, you must cease and desist. You are getting into areas that are not your domain.”

    This is not even an opinion piece. IT is a factual news itesm. Are you saying that publishing factual news is not part of ET’s domain?

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  • Sandip
    Jun 13, 2012 - 4:46AM

    @Ajamal: On what basis are you getting this figure of $100bn is something we would all like to know? Also have you factored in the billions in grants,softloans, deferred loan payments, GSP facility etc that have been provided to Pakistan? Mind fitting that to the balance sheet as well? And these do not even account for the toys that the boys have received as freebies from the US. The ship and some P3C Orions come to mind readily.

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