Pakistan has hiked the budgetary allocation for defence to Rs 495 billion for 2011-12, a media report said. The allocation for the next fiscal year is Rs 53 billion more than the Rs 442 million earmarked for last year, the daily Dawn reported citing budget documents.
"We live in a difficult neighbourhood. We are faced with threats to our security... We are the victims of war on terrorism," finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said in his budget speech on Friday.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's database of military expenditure, after this increase Pakistan would rank among the top 30 spenders on defence.
The media report said that the military expenses overshot the allocation by about Rs 25 billion during the current financial year.
The military had apparently sought an allocation of over Rs 500 billion, but the government could not meet the demand due to financial crunch.
Dawn said that the budgetary details on defence spending were scant and broadly categorised under heads like employee expenses (Rs 206.5 billion), operating expenditures (Rs 128.3 billion), physical assets (Rs 117.6 billion) and civil works (Rs 42.6 billion).