ISLAMABAD: A sum of Rs1526.6 billion was budgeted for defence services for 2022-23, marking an increase of 11.17 per cent from the current year.
Total defence allocation for next fiscal year (2022-23) is 15.8 percent of the total budget and 2.1 percent of GDP against 16.19 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, in the current fiscal year.
The original allocation for the outgoing fiscal year was Rs1.37 trillion which was revised upwards to Rs1483.9 billion.
The defence budget does not include pensions estimated at Rs395 billion (and itemized under current expenditure) which reflect a 9.7 percent increase from last year - while other major defence related procurements and strategic programmes are not itemized in the budget including nuclear weapons programme.
The amount budgeted for defence administration is Rs 3698 billion against Rs 3677 billion the revised estimates of the outgoing year with Rs3275 budgeted for this year.
Defence services are budgeted at 1523 billion rupees against 1480.2 billion rupees in the revised estimates of last year against 1370 billion rupees actually budgeted for the current year. This includes (i) employee-related expenses (Rs567.49 billion) including salaries and allowances paid to troops in uniform and civilian employees; (ii) operating expenses budgeted at Rs 368.9 billion that include transport, POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants), rations, medical treatment, training, etc.; (iii) Rs411 billion for physical assets utilised for local purchases and import of arms and ammunition and related procurements; and (iv) Rs 175 million budgeted for civil works that include funds marked for maintenance of existing infrastructure and construction of new buildings.
In addition, Rs2,232 billion has been allocated under the head of PSDP to the defence division and Rs2.200 billion to the defence production division.
Sources in defence ministry told this correspondent that there has been no increase in the salaries of personnel in the Armed Forces during the last two financial years – 2020-21 and 2021-22. However, the incumbent government has already announced an ad-hoc relief to be implemented from 1st July 2022. The Pakistan Army and its welfare agencies have deposited more than Rs 935 billion in the national treasury as taxes and duties, informed sources further revealed.—NUZHAT NAZAR