Pak defence budget to be raised by 31 percent in 2010-11

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Islamabad, May 22 (ANI): Pakistan has decided to raise its defence budget by 31 percent from Rs.343 billion to Rs.448 billion for fiscal 2010-11.

Official sources told the Daily Times that during a presentation to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenues, chaired by Pakistan People's Party Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab at the Finance Ministry, Finance Secretary Salman Siddique said the Defence Ministry had requested an increase of Rs.110 billion in the defence budget for 2010-11, but the federal government had approved an increase of Rs.105 billion.

During the fiscal 2009-10, the federal government allocated Rs.343 billion for defence expenditure, however, due to military and other operations, an additional amount of Rs.60 billion was spent. Due to additional expenditures, the total defence expenditure for 2009-10 will reach Rs.403 billion by June 30, 2010.

The secretary said the federal government's total budget outlay during 2010-11 would be Rs.2.488 trillion, out of which Rs.1.7 trillion would come from federal taxes collected by the Federal Board of Revenue. He said Rs.327 billion would come from foreign aid and loans and the remaining amount would be collected from non-tax revenues.

The government would transfer Rs.1.036 trillion to the provinces as direct transfers and their share in the National Finance Commission Award, and keep Rs.1.412 trillion for its expenditures on defence, debt servicing and running the civil government.

The finance secretary said the government is fully determined to enforce the 15-percent Value Added Tax in the next fiscal year that would help increase both, revenues and the tax base.

During the ongoing fiscal year, the country's total expenditures will reach Rs.2.927 trillion and revenues below Rs.2.164 trillion, resulting in a budget deficit of Rs.763 billion. (ANI)

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