Pakistan announces austerity-driven defence budget

11 June 2019

The Government of Pakistan has announced a 2019–20 defence budget of PKR1.15 trillion (USD7.6 billion), a 1.3% increase over the revised military expenditure in 2018–19.

The new defence budget – announced on 11 June – amounts to about 16% of total government expenditure for the year and about 3% of GDP.

However, the lack of growth in the allocation was attributed by the government to “austerity measures”, a reflection of the continuing fiscal challenges facing the South Asian country.

Budgetary documents released by the Ministry of Finance show that the bulk of defence spending in 2019–20 will be allocated to “employee-related expenses”, which receives PKR450.4 billion, a 5.5% increase against the revised budget for 2018–19.

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