Pakistan hikes defence spending in new budget by 7%
The budget also gave every soldier a 10% salary hike for contributions to defeating militants in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched three years ago.world Updated: May 26, 2017 21:39 IST
Pakistan on Friday hiked its spending on defence by 7% as finance minister Ishaq Dar presented a $50 billion budget that contained measures aimed at appeasing farmers who protested ahead of the announcement.
“We have increased the defence budget to Pakistani Rs 920 billion (from Pakistani Rs 860 billion),” Dar said as he presented the federal budget for 2017-18 fiscal in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.
In addition to the increase in military spending, the budget also gave every soldier a 10% salary hike for contributions to defeating militants in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched three years ago.
Pakistan’s defence budget is not open to debate by Parliament, nor does it generally include pensions paid to military personnel. The cost of their pensions comes out of the current budget.
Of the $20 billion-plus development budget, Dar said $1.8 billion will go toward financing projects linked to its multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) scheme that includes a vast array of joint ventures including roads and power plants.
Pakistan’s proposed increase in the defence outlay and for its armed forces comes even as New Delhi and Islamabad are at loggerheads over a host of contentious issues.
Last year, Pakistan recorded a 5.28% GDP growth — the highest in 10 years — and the volume of its economy crossed $300 billion.