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Pak military plans budget cuts

Posted in S. Asia

Published on June 09, 2019 with No Comments

In an unprecedented move, Pakistan’s military has decided to cut the defence budget for the next fiscal year amid an austerity drive launched by the government to solve the cash-strapped nation’s economic woes.  

Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the military, in his Twitter message said voluntary cuts in the defence budget for next fiscal year would not be at the cost of defence and security. However, Ghafoor did not mention how much budget cut would be undertaken.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he was very appreciative of the Pakistan military’s “unprecedented voluntary initiative of stringent cuts in their defence expenditures” especially in light of the country’s financial situation.

Khan said he was grateful for the move that came “despite multiple security challenges” that Pakistan faces. Khan said the funds saved would be used for the development of the newly-merged tribal areas as well as in Balochistan. Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said this was “not a small step at all”. “Only a strong civilian-military coordination can rescue Pakistan from the deep problems of Governance and economy,” Chaudhry said.

Prime Minister Khan, after assuming office last year, launched several austerity measures. He moved into a modest three-bed room house of his military secretary along with two servants.  

Last month, the government announced that all civil and military institutions would contribute to the austerity-oriented federal budget for 2019-20. “There will be austerity in the coming budget. We will try to keep government expenditures to the minimum possible level,” Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Economic Affairs Hafeez Shaikh had said. 


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