Budget 2024-25: Govt hikes defence spending by 17.6% to Rs2.1tr

Major chunk of budget amounting to Rs0.815 trillion to be spent on salaries, allowances etc

Muhammad Anis
June 13, 2024
Pakistan Army personnel take part in Pakistan Day parade showcasing military equipment in Islamabad. — AFP/File

The Shehbaz Sharif-led government has proposed a 17.62% increase in its defence spending in the budget 2024-25 to Rs2.122 trillion, The News reported on Thursday.

A major chunk of the defence budget amounting to Rs0.815 trillion, would be spent on employee-related expenses, including salaries and allowances for defence services.

In the previous fiscal year 2023-24, the expenses in the aforesaid domain stood at Rs0.715 trillion.

Budget documents show that there is an Rs0.318 trillion increase in the defence budget compared to the amount allocated in the previous year.

However, with the defence spending standing at Rs1.8 trillion in the previous fiscal year 2023-24, the proposed increase reflects a decrease in terms of the share of the defence budget in percentage out of the total federal budget of Rs18.877 trillion.

The estimated allocations for the fiscal year 2023-24 for defence services were 12.47% of the total Rs14.46 trillion budget which has now been reduced to 11.24%.

The increase in the defence budget is owed to the hike in salaries of government employees by 22 to 25%.

Other heads of the proposed budget for defence services include Rs0.548 trillion for physical assets, Rs0.5133 trillion for operational expenses and Rs0.244 trillion for civil works.

The government has proposed Rs1.009 trillion for the Pakistan Army, Rs0.451 trillion for the Pakistan Air Force followed by Rs0.2303 trillion for the Pakistan Navy along with Rs0.4314 trillion for other establishments.

It is to be noted that India's defence budget announced in February this year is $75 billion, which is almost 10 times higher than Pakistan's defence budget proposals of $7.59 billion.