ISLAMABAD: Rs781 billion have been allocated for Defence in the Federal Budget for the year 2015-16 announced by the Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Friday evening.
According to defence experts despite the on-going war on terror, other internal and external challenges Pakistan’s Defence Budget has actually declined in terms of expansion of the National Budget and meager as compared to the defence allocation of neighbouring arch rival India.
They pointed out that in 2003, the national budget was Rs.828 billion and the Defence budget Rs175 Bln (21% of the National Budget) and it was at 3rd place in National Budget Outlay (16.6%), after Debt services (31%) and General Public Services (28%)
They further said that the Defence Budget (Rs781 Bn) is for entire Armed Forces including Strategic Forces and Civil Armed Forces. Comparison of Army’s share in the Defence Budget viz-a-viz the National budget shows that Army’s share is only 7.9% (Rs 371. Bln from a total National Budget outlay of Rs 4704 Bln)
They pointed out that in 2014-15, the National Budget had increased to Rs 4302 Bln while Defence Budget was Rs 700.148 Bln (16.2% of the National Budget).
The experts further pointed out that since 2001, India’s Defence Budget has increased from $ 11.8 Bln to $ 38.35 Bln in 2014/15 making it a leading defence spender in the world. In comparison, Pakistan’s Defence Budget is $ 3.25 (Rs331.412). Indian Army’s Budget is 6 times greater than Pakistan Army’s.
Out of Army’s total allocation (Rs 331.412), last year the maximum was spent on non-development expenses for maintaining the Army like Pay & Allowances (Rs311.42 Bln which is 94% of the total allocation).Only 6% (Rs 19.88 Bln) were left for development expenses, they added.
Indian Army’s development expense is 20% of the Budget at $3.89. It means that just the development expenditure of Indian Army is greater than the entire Budget of Pakistan Army which allows it (Indian army) enough space for induction of latest weapons and equipment.
Giving a comparison of various countries on Defence spending per soldier / annum, they said Pakistan Army spend $8,077 whereas India spends $17,554, Turkey $31,184, Saudi Arabia $2,69,060 and USA $ 4,26,814.