Pak govt not considering defence budget hike

Last Updated: Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 22:40

Islamabad: The Pakistan government is not
considering an increase in its defence budget in view of the
major offensive launched against the Taliban in South
Waziristan, Finance Secretary Salman Siddique has said.

Expenditure for the ongoing operation in the tribal belt
is being met from the defence budget that has already been
allocated, Siddique said.

No proposal for allocating more funds is being
considered by the government, he said.

He was responding to a question from reporters yesterday
on whether the government planned to provide additional funds
to the armed forces in view of the operation that was launched
a week ago.

Siddique said around Rs 11 billion had been released for
an earlier operation against militants in Swat while Rs 2
billion has been provided so far for the campaign in South
Waziristan.

In June, Pakistan hiked its defence spending for 2009-10
to Rs 342.9 billion, marking a 15.3 per cent increase over the
outlay of Rs 296 billion for the previous fiscal.

Pakistan has mobilised about 28,000 soldiers to flush
out some 10,000 militants from South Waziristan.

Over 170 militants and 23 soldiers have died so far in
the fighting.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 22:40

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