Economics & Business Pak Affairs

Defence budget to the tune of over Rs 495.21 billion approved

ISLAMABAD: Federal government has approved defence budget for the fiscal 2011-12 to the tune of over Rs 495.21 billion with increase of Rs 53 billion. As per budget documents presented in the National Assembly (NA) today a sum of over Rs 206.48 billion had been allocated for expenses related to employees against Rs over 176.72 billion in the last year’s budget.

A sum of over Rs 128.28 billion have been earmarked for practical expenses, over Rs 128.28 billion for asset, over Rs 42.63 for public works and over Rs 1.25 billion for negative recoveries. On the other hand over Rs 3.84 billion have been allocated for defence division under PSDP and due to this allocation completion of 35 new and ongoing schemes would be ensured.

For the construction of new international air port in Gwadar allocation to the tune of over Rs 1.10 billion has been made in the funds earmarked for defence sector. The Federal Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shiekh took the cabinet into confidence by giving briefing about the layout of the next budget. The Cabinet took review of the loss occurred to the economy due to war against terrorism and last year devastating flood.

Earlier Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said while speaking to the cabinet that budget will be public friendly. He said that the economy was in constant pressure due to law and order situation of the country. He said that the top priority of the government is to take the country out of energy crises. He said that Pakistan had to face the loss of Rs 800 billion due to budget whereas the load shedding hit the economic growth badly.

He informed the cabinet members that the foreign reserves of the country has reached to highest level of $ 17 billion, exports of the country has touched the figure of $ 24 billion. It is expected that remittances might reach to $ 12 billion.
He said that the production of rice has increase to 30 percent whereas the cotton yield has increased by 10 percent. The country has bumper production of wheat. He said that the target for next financial year would be to bring reforms in the energy sector and good governance and to enhance tax to GDP ratio. The cabinet approved the budget after long consultation.

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Mian Ahsan Liaqat

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