Allocation for defence likely to be raised


ISLAMABAD: The finance ministry has finalised the federal expenditure estimates for the next fiscal year, envisaging Rs171 billion for pension and retirement benefits, Rs627bn for defence services and Rs313bn for subsidies and miscellaneous expenses. The allocation for defence services is 15 per cent more than the Rs545bn allocated in the current financial year’s budget. Besides, an allocation of Rs33bn has been made for civil armed forces, Rs4bn more than the current year’s Rs29bn. This will be in addition to Rs6.3bn for the Frontier Constabulary, Rs1.5bn for the Pakistan Coast Guards, Rs14.5bn for Pakistan Rangers and Rs8.7bn for the interior ministry. The Airport Security Force will get Rs3.66bn.

The allocation for subsidies and miscellaneous expenditures has been put at Rs313bn, 32.7 per cent less than Rs465bn in the current year. The allocation for superannuation allowances and pensions has been estimated at Rs171.2bn — an increase of 32.5pc over current year’s Rs129bn.

Allocations for grant in aid and other adjustments between federal and provincial governments have been estimated at Rs87.4bn — up 3.6pc from this year’s Rs84.3bn.

Even though incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif has announced that he will reduce expenditures, including those on his security and protocol, the ministry has increased the allocation for the prime minister’s secretariat by about 22pc to Rs853 million.

About 18pc increase has been proposed for cabinet’s expenses and the allocation for cabinet division’s expenses has been jacked up by about 43pc to Rs4.7bn. This will be in addition to about Rs6.5bn for ‘other expenses’ of the division.

The allocation for atomic energy has been proposed to be increased by 17pc to Rs6.3bn and capital administration by 56pc to Rs14bn. The allocation for the commerce division has been kept unchanged at about Rs5bn, but that for the communications division has been increased by about 8pc to Rs6.6bn.

While the allocation for the finance division has been proposed to be increased by about 26pc to Rs18.26bn, the amount for the Planning Commission has been scaled down by 11pc to Rs968m. The allocation for the Higher Education Commission has been proposed to be increased to Rs39bn from current year’s Rs32bn.

The allocation for Pakistan Post has been increased to about Rs15bn from Rs12.8bn.

An allocation of Rs2.5bn has been made for the National Assembly and Rs1.35bn for the Senate.

An amount of Rs14bn has been earmarked for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, compared with Rs12.5bn this year.

The government has estimated next year’s development budget at about Rs450bn, compared with the current year’s Rs360bn.