Islamabad: The Pakistan government has increased the defence budget for the outgoing fiscal year by nearly 6 per cent to over PKR 1.45 trillion to meet the critical needs of the country's armed forces.

This decision to increase the budget was taken by Pakistan's Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to meet the enhanced salary requirements and other key needs, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Besides the decision to increase the defence budget by another PKR 80 billion, PKR 182 billion in supplementary grants was approved in total.

According to the Tribune report, the Pakistan Defence Ministry had demanded an additional PKR 80 billion defence budget for "critical shortfalls". Moreover, additions were made for spending on the Jinnah Naval base, the Naval Base Turbat and the multi-functional office building in the headquarters.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presided over the ECC meeting that approved PKR 80 billion supplementary budget for the Pakistan armed forces, the newspaper report said.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world military expenditure reached an all-time high of USD 2.1 trillion in 2021. The top three largest spenders are the United States, China and India.

"Total global military expenditure increased by 0.7 per cent in real terms in 2021, to reach USD 2113 billion. The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, together accounting for 62 per cent of expenditure," the Stockholm based said in a report released in April.

"Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels," said Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. "There was a slowdown in the rate of real-terms growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1 per cent."

As a result of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, defence spending amounted to 2.2 per cent of global GDP, while in 2020 this figure reached 2.3 per cent.

According to the Stockholm based institute, India's military spending of USD 76.6 billion ranked third highest in the world. This was up by 0.9 per cent from 2020 and by 33 per cent from 2012.