Pakistan trims budget for armed forces development programme to please IMF

04:52 PM | 6 Jul, 2022
Pakistan trims budget for armed forces development programme to please IMF
Source: File Photo

ISLAMABAD – Cash-starved Pakistan, which is negotiating with the global lender for a bailout package, has slashed the budget allocation for the Armed Forces Development Program (AFDP) by Rs72 billion – nearly 20 percent of the total sum.

The decision was made amid rising economic plight while it was also longstanding demand which was put under negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Finance Ministry proposed to allocate Rs 363 billion for the Armed Forces Development Program in the FY2022-23 budget that was presented in the Parliament last month.

As per the budget document, Rs 291 billion have been allocated for the development program of the armed forces. AFDP is reportedly allocated separately from the regular budget of the armed forces.

The major reduction is reportedly the second time in as many years that the armed forces development programme has been cut amid the looming financial crisis.

Last year, the government led by ousted PM Imran Khan had allocated Rs340 billion for AFDP however nearly Rs270 billion were used.

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Earlier in June, military spokesperson Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar revealed that defence allocations were reduced amid inflation and rupee depreciation.

Citing austerity measures, DG ISPR said Pakistan Army has not sought any increase in its budgetary allocations since 2020… defence budget has been actually reduced.