Defence budget hiked by usual 11pc

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ISLAMABAD: Defence expenditure in the next financial year will grow by a little less than 11 per cent to Rs860 billion from what is was in the outgoing year. Last year the revised figure at the close of the financial year was Rs776 billion for the outgoing year ending on June 30. “We have catered for the needs of the armed forces keeping in view the security challenges,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said in his budget speech. The increase in defence spending contrasts with a 3.6pc increase in the government’s current expenditure and a 7.3pc growth in the total expenditures. The comparison with the national budget shows how much money is going to the armed forces in real terms. The defence budget does not cover the cost of military pensions, which average at Rs127bn per year since 2010, and this year have been allocated Rs178bn. These are paid out of the civilian budget. It also does not cover the nuclear programme or the cost of the military operations under way in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

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