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Pak increases defence budget by Rs 100 billion

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ISLAMABAD (PTI): The Pakistan government has decided to hike its defence budget for the next fiscal by Rs 100 billion to about Rs 442 billion, according to a media report.

The reason for the increase in the defence budget is the large expenditure on the war against terrorism, Samaa news channel quoted government documents as saying on Monday.

The documents related to the planned hike in military spending stated that about Rs 343 billion was earmarked for the defence budget last year.

Subsequently, the outlay was increased to Rs 378 billion due to expenses in the campaign against terrorism, the report said.

The documents further stated that an increase of Rs 70 billion in the defence budget was necessitated by the hike in salaries and allowances of the armed forces.

Additional funds are also needed for purchasing equipment for the military, the report said.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have said the government is committed to fulfil all the needs of the armed forces.

The budget for the financial year is expected to be presented in parliament in the first week of June.

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