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Pakistan Army Said Seeking Defence Budget Increase

Discussion in 'Pakistan Army' started by Nasir, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Nasir

    Nasir FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan Army Said Seeking Defence Budget Increase
    2006-03-18
    BBC Monitoring South Asia


    Islamabad: The Ministry of Defence has demanded an increase of 61bn rupeesin the defence budget to meet the needs of the armed forces, and the National Assembly Special Committee working under the Public Accounts Committee has already supported the demand.

    The committee meeting, which was held at the Parliament House on Friday [17 March] under the leadership of Chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, reviewed the expenditures of the ministry for the year 1991-92.

    Some officers from the auditor-general criticized that the finances provided to the welfare of army officers should be audited but the practice is not always followed. GHQ senior officers replied with the comment that the Army works under a particular discipline and they still need 11,000 houses for the married Army officers, but lack of funds rules out the possibility.

    The officers informed the committee that India had increased its budget to 900bn rupees but Pakistan's defence budget has been the same for the last two years. They said 223bn had been allocated for the defence services while the Army needs 284bn rupees for the purpose. They said 61bn rupees is still needed to fulfil their requirements. They said the Army is answerable to parliament and their morale is high in spite of difficulties. Nisar said the same rules apply to the Army and other government ministries and every rupee drawn out of the state treasury must be audited.

    He assured that parliament recognises the problem of the Army and they would raise the issue in the Public Accounts Committee. He said the Army needed to get stronger but there has been misuse of finances in the Army, just the way it happens in other civil services offices, which is a condemnable act. He said even the president and the prime minister cannot allocate finances to any ministry without following proper rules and regulations. He assured that he would raise the issue of more allocation of funds to the Army in the Public Accounts Committee and try to formulate a policy for the purpose.

    http://www.blackenterprise.com/yb/ybopen.a...blackenterprise
     
  2. Nasir

    Nasir FULL MEMBER

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    EDITORIAL: Glasnost and defence spending

    As we move towards FY2006-7, the Ministry of Defence (MOD), we are told, wants an increase of Rs 61 billion in the defence budget to meet the needs of the military. We are also told that the National Assembly Special Committee, which works under the Public Accounts Committee, has supported the MoD demand. Meanwhile, the Auditor-General’s office wants all aspects of military finances and spending properly audited and says the practice in certain respects is not followed. To this charge, at a meeting of the NA Special Committee, representatives of General Headquarters responded by saying that the army has its own strict procedures for monitoring finances and spending. The army also says that it is short of funds and needs, among other things, 11,000 houses for married army officers, which it cannot manage because of shortage of funds. The GHQ representatives also pointed out to the Committee members that India has increased its budget to Rs 900 billion but Pakistan’s defence budget has remained static for the last two years. How should we look at this problem?

    There are two aspects of the problem. The first deals with the requirements of the military and the availability of funds. The second relates to how the allocations are spent and whether there is a proper audit of such spending. There is dialectic between the two: has the military utilised the funds optimally for the purpose for which they were allocated? This question is important because given limited resources the issue of optimum utilisation of funds as well as the very debate about setting priorities becomes very important. The army’s view that it has its own mechanisms for monitoring its funds and spending does not wash because at the end of the day some third entity is always required to see whether the internal audit has been conducted correctly and impartially.

    The majority of people in this country think that we spend too much on the military. The military counters by pointing to security requirements, India’s growing defence expenditure and the fact that its budget in real terms has been declining over the years. That the debate doesn’t take us anywhere is due to the fact that no one, not even those whose job it is to keep an eye on these things, knows exactly how much we spend on defence. Since no one has seen the entire elephant, no one can draw or describe it as it actually looks. Interestingly, in the guns versus butter debate if the people do not understand the military’s requirement — if we were to accept what the military says as correct — the blame must go to the military itself. Its penchant for keeping everything under wraps is what limits how accurately anyone, including experts, can analyse trends and requirements. A one-liner in the national budget document is hardly the kind of information that can generate informed debate. So the tension has kept mounting with both sides sticking to their viewpoint, the military emphasising guns while the people stressing the need for more butter.

    The point we are trying to make should be obvious by now. If the military wants the people to understand its viewpoint, it will have to get out of its habit of keeping things secret. The nation needs to know exactly what we spend on defence and under what heads. The MoD must make available documents on procurement and acquisitions of weapons. There should also be a neat breakdown on development and non-development expenditures. The argument that some aspects of defence allocations and spending need to be kept secret, especially induction of new weapon systems, is specious. In a nuclear environment capabilities are projected and kept upfront, not under cover. Surprise is fatal in such an environment.

    This argument is trotted out merely because the military doesn’t want public scrutiny of its conduct. There are not many studies in Pakistan on defence procurement and security sector reform. But nuts and bolts information throws up a picture, though incomplete, which does not look too good. An insight into military spending and priorities becomes all the more important in view of limited resources. The military’s argument that it debates these issues extensively is not good enough. The debate must be held between the military and experts outside the military. Organisation theory is very clear on the innate limitations of how a large bureaucracy deals with its problems and solutions and how biases kick into play in terms of allocations and efforts at reforming the organisation. Given these limitations, it is important to have outsiders, including legislative committees, to oversee what the military is doing, what it wants and why.

    It is at this point that the issue goes beyond statistics. The military abhors oversight not only because all bureaucratic organisations do so but also because of the peculiar imbalance in civil-military relations in Pakistan. This large bureaucratic organisation has been in the political saddle for a long time. It has developed rent-seeking interests that force it to keep its doors closed to any scrutiny. This makes it even more difficult for political and civil society actors to compel it to open up and become accountable. The military also says that civilians do not know what it wants or why. In other words, that the civilians lack the expertise to understand its requirements and functioning. This argument, again, is only partially right. If you keep everyone out, then there will be a dearth of expertise over a long period of time. Therefore, the solution is not to keep the doors closed but to open them. Even so, while the lack-of-expertise argument may be true vis-à-vis weapon systems, there are many other aspects of allocations and spending which the civilians can understand perhaps better than the army. None of the arguments put out by the army is sustainable. Most are self-serving. It is in the interest of both the nation and the army for the latter to open up. *

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?p...19-3-2006_pg3_1
     
  3. sigatoka

    sigatoka SENIOR MEMBER

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    Military expenditure is already too high at around 4% of GDP and there is good reason to suspect that is undercounted.

    Secondly since Pakistan has nuclear weapons it can threaten strategic nuclear strike if India initiates all out war and therefore the total level of Indian spending is not as important as it was for pre-Nuclear Pakistan.

    Secondly the military expenditure can also be expressed as Current Security Vs Future Security. Spending too much now lowers long term growth propects because the money spent on Artillery could have gone to a factory. Therefore lower economic growth inhibits military expenditure in the future.
     
  4. Bull

    Bull ELITE MEMBER

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    hmmm a pakistani who thinks well..:thumbsup: