Pak's defence allocation Rs 675 bn, not Rs 442 bn : Official


Tihar Jail
Aug 6, 2009
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Islamabad, (PTI) : Pakistan government's total allocation for the military for fiscal 2010-11 is about Rs 675 billion and not Rs 442 billion as shown in the defence budget, a top finance official has said. Saqib Sheerani, Principal Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, said the allocation for defence was not reflected under one head in the budget but was distributed under three different heads.

Sheerani was explaining why the International Monetary Fund had given Rs 593 billion as Pakistan's total defence spending for the last fiscal while the government had put the figure at Rs 378 billion in its budget documents. During the last fiscal, Rs 378 billion were shown under the main head of the defence budget while over Rs 200 billion were shown under two other heads ? spending on pensions and the war on terrorism.

The government also had to pay for "legacy expenditures" like purchases of defence hardware for which deals were struck during former President Pervez Musharraf's tenure, Sheerani told The News daily. The budget for 2010-11 contained the total allocation for defence under three heads. Besides the Rs 442 billion announced as the defence budget, almost Rs 225 billion were allocated for pensions and the war on terrorism, Sheerani said.

Recent media reports had said that the government has allocated Rs 110 billion for the Armed Forces Development Plan, ongoing anti-militancy operations and a key defence initiative. The aim of this initiative is to enable the military to acquire fighter jets and surveillance aircraft, submarines and other weapons and technology to effectively counter external threats and terrorism.

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