Pakistan plans to hike defence budget to Rs 582 bn

The Defence Ministry sought higher allocation after calculating inflation.

Islamabad: Pakistan plans to hike its defence budget by 18 percent to Rs 582 billion during the upcoming fiscal year due to inflation and expenses on the war against terrorism, according to a media report on Friday.

The Defence Ministry has sent a proposal to the federal government for allocating Rs 582 billion for the defence budget for 2011-12.

The ministry sought the higher allocation after calculating inflation and expenditure in the fight against terrorism, the Business Recorder daily quoted its sources as saying.

The outlay for defence during the current financial year was Rs 442 billion.

The Defence Ministry has sought Rs 127 billion for the "progress and security" of the atomic programme and Rs 147.42 billion for import and custom charges of the military and defence equipment, maintenance of military farms and allowances for officials.

It has sought Rs 200 billion for salaries of military officials and Rs 45.89 billion for various construction projects, the report said.

The federal government has been allocating funds for military operations against militants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

The standing committee on defence of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament recently endorsed the proposed defence budget.

However, major political parties are yet to be taken into confidence on the defence budget, the report said.

Senior PML-Q leader Faisal Salah Hayat, a member of the National Assembly`s standing committee on defence, said he had received documents containing the proposed defence budget.

PML-N lawmaker Ayaz Amir, another member of the committee, said inflation and current defence expenditures have made an increase in the defence budget inevitable.


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