Islamabad: Pakistan’s budget documents revealed a true picture of its military allocations on Sunday. Pakistan government's total outlay for the military for fiscal 2011-12 is over Rs 718 billion, considerably higher than the defence budget of Rs 495 billion. Agencies
In addition to the defence budget, the Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 80 billion under the Armed Forces Development Programme, Rs 50 billion under reimbursements from the US
Coalition Support Fund for expenses on the war on terror and Rs 20 billion received for participation of the armed forces in UN peacekeeping missions.
Over and above these allocations, another Rs 73.2 billion will be paid as military pensions from civilian accounts, a practice started in 2000 by ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf to give the impression that Pakistan had slashed its defence spending.
A senior official of the Finance Ministry outlined the actual outlay for the military while interacting with a group of journalists on Saturday, media reports said on Sunday.
The stated budget, additional allocations and military pensions amount to almost 26 per cent of the total budget. The additional allocations are reflected in budget documents as "grants" under the heading of "contingent liabilities."
The additional allocation of Rs 150 billion for 2011-12 is Rs 8.4 billion or almost six per cent more than the similar outlay for the outgoing fiscal.
In the outgoing fiscal, the government allocated Rs 110 billion for contingent liabilities but actually spent Rs 141.7 billion, according to budget documents.
The stated defence budget for the outgoing fiscal was Rs 442 billion.
The Armed Forces Development Programme too was conceived by Musharraf's regime to equip the military with the latest combat aircraft, surveillance planes and systems, submarines and other sophisticated weapons. This programme will continue till 2025.
However, the Finance Ministry official told the journalists that the government has decided to reduce the amount it expects to receive from the US Coalition Support Fund in a substantial manner.
In the outgoing fiscal, the government had estimated that the US would reimburse around USD 1.3 billion but the actual reimbursements had amounted to USD 745 million so far.
The US is "using dilly-dallying tactics" while making reimbursements and uses the funds as "leverage to achieve its strategic goals," The News daily quoted its sources as saying.
The US now wants to Pakistan to launch a fresh anti-militancy offensive in the weeks ahead after which the funds might be reimbursed, the sources said.
In the wake of Pakistani military's failure to detect Osama bin Laden's presence in the garrison city of Abbottabad and the daring terrorist raid on a naval airbase in Karachi
that killed 10 security personnel and destroyed two surveillance aircraft, opposition parties like the PML-N have called for a debate on defence spending in Parliament.
Some defence analysts have demanded that defence allocations should be linked to performance.
The opposition parties have also demanded that full details of the defence budget should be placed in Parliament but the government stuck to the prevalent practice of tabling the outlay in the form of a brief statement.
Of the stated defence budget of Rs 495 billion, Rs 206.5 billion were allocated for employees-related expenses, Rs 128.3 billion as operating expenses of the armed forces, Rs
117.6 billion for creating physical assets and Rs 42.7 billion for civil works.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s budget documents revealed a true picture of its military allocations on Sunday. Pakistan government's total outlay for the military for fiscal 2011-12 is over Rs 718 billion, considerably higher than the defence budget of Rs 495 billion.