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Bangladesh resumes defence budget declines

Bangladesh's 2022–23 defence budget is a nominal increase but a real-term decrease once inflation is accounted for. Modest growth in the expenditure is forecast by Janes during the next few years. (Janes Defence Budgets)

Bangladesh has announced a 2022–23 defence budget of BDT400 billion (USD4.2 billion), an increase of 7.7% over the revised expenditure BDT371.2 billion in 2021–22. The new allocation represents about 6% of total government expenditure in the year, although its growth is offset by rising inflation in the South Asian country.

Documents issued by the Ministry of Finance on 9 June show that the defence budget allocates BDT361.5 billion to Ministry of Defence (MoD) operating expenses, which is thought to include military salaries and costs for maintenance and operations. This is an approximate 8% increase over the revised allocation last year.

The new defence budget also includes BDT18.8 billion for development expenses including military procurement, an increase of 6%. The total allocation also includes BDT19 billion for MoD “other services”, and BDT450 million for the Bangladesh Armed Forces Division, which oversees policies and force deployment.

The Bangladesh Army has been allocated about 43% of the total 2022–23 defence expenditure, with the navy and air force receiving about 18% and 14%, respectively.

Bangladesh's military modernisation programme – called Forces Goal 2030, which was initiated in 2009 – has stalled in recent years owing to funding constraints compounded by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Procurement activity has accordingly been modest in recent years but has featured an undisclosed number of Tiger T-300 multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) from Turkish company Roketsan and AeroVironment RQ-20B Puma and RQ-12B Wasp unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) from the United States.

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