Pakistan to hike defence budget to Rs 448 billion

Pakistan to hike defence budget to Rs 448 billion

The defence ministry had sought an increase of Rs 110 billion in the upcoming budget while the finance ministry allowed a hike of Rs 105 billion in view of the tight fiscal position, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has said.

While briefing parliament's Standing Committee on Finance yesterday, Sheikh and Finance Secretary Salman Siddique said defence expenditure increased by Rs 60 billion in the current fiscal because of military operations in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal areas.

An amount of Rs 343 billion was allocated for defence for the current fiscal year but the amount rose to Rs 403 billion.

The parliamentary panel was informed that defence expenditure had increased because of the tense situation in border areas.

The committee was told that the allocation for defence in 2010-11 would be Rs 448 billion, higher than the Rs 442 billion estimated by the finance ministry earlier.