Pak hikes defence allocation to Rs 495 billion

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Islamabad, Jun 4: Pakistan on Friday, June 3 hiked the allocation for defence in its budget for fiscal 2011-12 to Rs 495 billion (about USD 5.75 billion), marking an increase of nearly 12 per cent over the outlay for the current fiscal.

Official budget documents presented in parliament said defence spending will increase to Rs 495 billion for 2011-12, compared with Rs 442 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30. Further details were not immediately available.

Reports had said that the military and the Defence Ministry had sought an outlay of more than Rs 500 billion but the figure was slashed by the Finance Ministry in view of a severe financial crunch and stagnant economic growth.

The total outlay for fiscal 2011-12 was Rs 2,767 billion (USD 32.17 billion), 14.2 per cent higher than the size of the budget estimates for 2010-11.

The government also earmarked Rs 1,454.73 million under its Public Sector Development Programme for ongoing schemes of the Defence Production Division for 2011-12.

According to details provided in budget documents, Rs 1,089.43 million was allocated for installation of ship lift and transfer system, associated machinery, equipment to provide docking and repair facilities for surface ships, submarines and commercial vessels of up to 4,000 tonnes.

Moreover, Rs 365.3 million was allocated for civil works for upgrading Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

An allocation of Rs 22,000 million was made for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission under the Public Sector Development Programme, budget documents said.

The Pakistan government has traditionally made defence allocations with the objective of maintaining conventional parity with India.

PTI

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