Thursday, May 12, 2011

The military establishment has sought an increase in the Rs495 billion defence budget proposed by the finance ministry to Rs524 billion, or 18.4 per cent more than the budget for the outgoing fiscal year.

After a briefing by the Ministry of Defence on next year’s defence and security requirements, the chairperson of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance Fauzia Wahab said the proposed defence budget of Rs495 billion might be increased keeping rising needs in mind. Wahab said the defence budget can be increased up to three per cent of the total size of the economy, while the proposed budget is 2.5 per cent of GDP.
The defence ministry has also sought restoration of the Armed Forces Defence Programme that had an outlay of $1.5 billion (Rs129 billion).  The programme had been discontinued some years ago, which is creating problems, Wahab quoted the defence ministry as saying.
“Both the committee and the Ministry of Defence have shown concerns over not fully funding military research that has undermined the defence system,” the chairperson said.
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