Islamabad: Pakistan’s defence budget is set to increase by at least Rs13,000 crore due to ongoing military operations against militants and increased salaries for military personnel, a media report said here on Monday.
By June this year, Pakistan’s defence expenditure might rise to Rs20,500 crore because of the military operations and increased salaries for the armed forces.
However, the country could project an increase of Rs13,000 crore in the defence expenditure during talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This could pave the way for achieving broader consensus with the IMF for increasing the fiscal deficit target up to 5.1% of GDP, from the earlier envisaged target of 4.9%, The News daily reported.
A senior government official, who took part in the recently concluded talks between Pakistan and the IMF in Dubai, said that the fiscal target was allowed to grow due to increased expenditure on security and rising subsidies during the current fiscal year.
The Pakistan government last month allocated an additional Rs3,500 crore for the 2009-10 defence budget due to expenses on anti-militancy operations and the need to acquire modern equipment to counter a perceived threat from India.
Following the additional allocation, Pakistan’s defence budget increased to about Rs37,800 crore.