Economist Debunks 5 Myths About Pakistan Army Spending

He states that Fauji Fertilizer is one of the highest taxpayers in Pakistan. In 2019, Fauji Fertilizer alone paid Rs42 billion in taxes and duties.

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Pakistani Economist Farrukh Saleem

Leading economist Farrukh Saleem has pointed out several facts and myths about Pakistan’s defense budget.

Saleem states that the first myth is that the defense budget eats up the lion’s share of the country’s entire budgetary expenses.

“In budget 2020-21, Defence Affairs and Services have been allotted Rs1,289 billion out of the entire budgetary expenses of Rs7,295 billion. What this means is that defense comprises 17.67% of the total expenses, and 82.33% of all government expenses are non-defense related,” he explained.

He says that the second myth is that of the total defense budget, Pakistan Army takes away the lion’s share. “Pakistan Army gets Rs613 billion (47.6p%), Pakistan Air Force Rs274 billion (21%), Pakistan Navy Rs140 billion (11%), and Inter-Services Intelligence Rs262 billion (20%).”

He adds that the third myth is Pakistan’s defense budget has been growing at a high rate. In the 70s, he said, the allotment for defense amounted to 6.50pc of the gross domestic product (GDP).

He asserted that in the financial year 2001-02, 20 years ago, the allocation for defense amounted to 4.6pc of the GDP, whereas budget 2020-21 has allocated Rs1,289 billion, which is 2.86pc of GDP.

The fourth myth is that Pakistan has a vast military. Concerning this, he explains that there are at least 65 countries that have more military personnel on a per capita basis than Pakistan does.

Saleem points out the fifth myth is that Pakistan’s military spendings are the highest on earth on a per capita basis.

“Pakistan’s military spending on a per capita basis is one of the lowest on earth. Israel spends $2,000 on a per capita basis, while Pakistan spends $22 per capita.”

For him, the sixth myth is that the military’s spending is a burden on the country’s economy.

He states that Fauji Fertilizer is one of the highest taxpayers in Pakistan. In 2019, Fauji Fertilizer alone paid Rs42 billion in taxes and duties.

He adds that Pakistan only spends 2.86pc of its GDP on defense. In contrast, other countries, including Saudi Arabia (8pc), Israel (5.3pc), Russia (3.9pc), and United States (3.4pc), spend a higher percentage of their GDP on defense than Pakistan.

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