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Defence budget up by 18 percent
04-08-2011, 01:07 PM
Post: #1
Defence budget up by 18 percent
* NA committee on defence okays Rs 500 billion for next financial year

* Members of committee praise Pakistan Army for sacrifices in war against terrorism

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on Defence has approved defence budget of over Rs 500 billion for the next financial year, against Rs 442 billion of the current year.

The committee met at the Parliament House on Thursday under its Chairperson, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, to review different proposals presented by the Ministry of Defence in connection with the defence budget for the next fiscal year.

Defence Secretary, Athar Ali Khan, and senior officers of the GHQ briefed the committee about the budget and requirements of defence institutions in detail.

Others who turned up at the meeting included MNAs Dr Talat Mahesar, Malik Nauman Ahmed Langerial, Mir Amir Ali Khan Magsi, Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai, Syed Haider Ali Shah, Jawad Hussain and Shagufta Sadiq. The defence secretary and GHQ officials told the committee that the defence budget for the current financial year stood at Rs 442 billion, while security expenses were far greater.

Sources told Online that officials of the Ministry of Defence told the committee that only $900 million had been provided to army out of its due share of $7.50 billion under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

“Not a penny has been given to army out of the funds received under the CSF during the current year,” the committee was informed.

Officials told the committee that defence requirements of air force and navy had increased and new equipment would have to be procured keeping in view the prevailing defence scenario. Members of the committee paid rich tributes to the armed forces for the unprecedented services rendered by them during war on terror, saying the whole nation stood by them for the sake of defence and integrity of the country.

Talking to media men after the meeting, Dr Azra said defence requirements of the armed forces were reviewed at length during the meeting and approval had been accorded for an increase by 18 percent in the defence budget for the upcoming fiscal year in the wake of growing inflation.

She told journalists that 25 percent of defence budget was spent on the purchase of defence equipment and needs of the army had increased due to war on terror. “Therefore, the decision has been taken to enhance the defence budget,” she added. agencies
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