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Pakistan's military to cut defence expenditure despite multiple security challenges

12:44 AM | 5 Jun, 2019
Pakistan's military to cut defence expenditure despite multiple security challenges
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday appreciated Pakistan military's unprecedented voluntary initiative of stringent cuts in their defence expenditures for next fiscal year because of the country's critical financial situation.

In a tweet, Khan said that these cuts were agreed to despite multiple security challenges.

Imran Khan, who earlier in the day chaired a meeting to review the preparations for the national budget 2019-20, said the government would divert "the money saved on dev[elopment] of merged tribal areas & Balochistan."

https://twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI/status/1135971466552512520

In a rare move Wednesday night, the military's spokesman took to social media to explain that "voluntary cut in def[ence] budget for a year will not be at the cost of def[ence] & security".

"We shall maint[ain] effective response potential to all threats.Three services will manage impact of the cut through appropriate internal measures. It was imp[ortant] to participate in dev[olution] of tribal areas & Bln (Balochistan)," Asif Ghafoor, the director-general of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), wrote on his offical Twitter handle.

https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1136003059476324353

On June 11, Finance Adviser to PM Dr. Hafeez Shaikh is due to announce spending plans for the financial year beginning in July.

Under Pakistan's devolved system, the federal government must hand over more than half its budget to the provinces, and the remainder is mostly eaten up by debt servicing and the military's vast budget.

Pakistan's defence budget

Pakistan’s military spending increased by 73 per cent between 2009 and 2018, and by 11 per cent between 2017 and 2018, according to a recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

In 2018, Pakistan’s military expenditure was $11.4 billion, making it the 20th-largest spender globally.

Pakistan’s military burden in 2018 was 4.0 per cent of GDP — the highest level since 2004, the report states.

Six of the 10 countries with the highest military burden in the world in 2018 are in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia (8.8 per cent of GDP), Oman (8.2 per cent), Kuwait (5.1 per cent), Lebanon (5.0 per cent), Jordan (4.7 per cent) and Israel (4.3 per cent).

The other four are Algeria (5.3 per cent), Armenia (4.8 per cent), Pakistan (4.0 per cent) and Russia (3.9 per cent).

The SIPRI data shows that Pakistan’s regional rival, India, was among the five biggest military spenders in 2018.

The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60 per cent of global military spending. Russia was the sixth-largest spender in 2018.

According to the Sweden-based research institute, India’s military spending rose in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year and was 3.1 per cent higher than in 2017.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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