The budget for the fiscal year (2019-2020) was unanimously passed on Thursday by Pakistan’s Parliament. Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar informed that the budget allocation has remained the same as the previous fiscal year. The previous budget had an allocation of Rs 1,100 billion but it was revised later to Rs 1,137 billion.
The defence budget allocation has risen from the previous allocation on account of Rs 52,201 million or 4.5 per cent.
The Pakistan government is looking for an austerity drive by cutting down expenditure in all departments. The Imran Khan led government has only just negotiated a USD 6 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to overcome the financial problems.
Yet there was no change in the budget allocation for defence as the country continues to sift through financial woes. Even the opposition parties were looking for budget cuts, yet all unanimously agreed upon the defence allocation.
This has raised the concern of New Delhi which finds the allocation timely and has begun procedures to prepare for any inadvertent eventuality. Pakistan in 2018 was the 20th biggest military spender in the world with an expenditure of USD 11.4 billion, a report published by the said in April.
A report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, finds Pakistan to have been the 20th biggest military spender in the world. A cumulative expenditure of 11.4 billion dollars.