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Did the government really freeze Pakistan’s military budget?

June 13, 2019

The defence budget is being maintained at last year’s level of Rs1,150 billion, said Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar in his budget speech on Tuesday. This claim was repeated on Wednesday by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh during his post-budget conference.

As is the case every year, defence spending becomes a topic of much discussion every time the federal budget is announced. It has become more important now because the government is choked for finances and needs to cut expenditures from wherever it can.

The military budget remains untouched when it comes to reducing the deficit but the development budget was, however, cut. So it came as no surprise that the government’s claim of freezing the military budget was scrutinised. Critics pointed out that the military budget has actually gone up and was not frozen. Here is why they are saying this.

Both the minister and the adviser quoted the figure of Rs1,153 billion allocated for Defence Affairs and Services, which is further divided into administration and services. This figure doesn’t include the money given for pensions. So when we break down the pensions for the last two years we see there has been a 26% increase in military pensions. The military pension in this fiscal year (FY2019-2020) is Rs327 billion compared to the lower Rs259 billion of the last fiscal year.

When military pensions are added to the overall military budget, it takes the total to Rs1480 billion, which is 9% higher than last year’s total military spending.




  1. Avatar
    zafar   June 13, 2019 11:57 am/ Reply

    Rs1,126 billion are wasted on subsidy, losses, slippage and theft in various sectors, this is where one needs to focus

  2. Avatar
    Ilyas   June 13, 2019 1:50 pm/ Reply

    They are saying, the budget increase is kept nominal around 4%. You should understand news first.

    • Avatar
      Anon   June 15, 2019 11:34 am/ Reply

      To account for inflationary pressures, i assume.

  3. Avatar
    UMAR   June 15, 2019 11:53 am/ Reply

    Please concentrate where money is really wasted in Politics expense,

    Defense is first priority and must covered and supported to its peak requirements, no compromise on this, have you imagine, soldier can fight without tools, or with out upgrading to latest technology is possible to with same worth of money which is compare to last yes (value of RS fall down % same amount of last year convert to $ and back you will feel its how much less compared to earlier budget),

    ARMY OF PAKISTAN DOING ITS BEST WITH MINIMUM RESOURCES, if you really wants to compare, than compare with other countries defense budgets, not compare Lions with sheep, no match and no sense i can see in this topic just time waste.

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