Pakistan, in its latest budget released on 27 April 2018, has allocated PKR4.7 billion (~US$40.7 million) to Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation (SUPARCO). This is a 34% jump over the previous year’s budget allocation.
According to a report by Dawn News, this year’s budget includes PKR2.55 billion (~US$22 million) for three new programs:
- US$11.7 million for Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat- MM1) dedicated to live satellite television, broadband data transmission and emergency telecommunications services.
- US$8.7 million for three “Pakistan Space Centre” sites in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
- US$1.7 million for the establishment of a “Space Application Research Centre” in Karachi.
The intention is to reduce reliance on foreign entities and satellites and develop indigenous capabilities and because of the “changing scenario in the region” [presumably in the geopolitical sense] according to the Dawn News report.