Govt Decides To Increase Defence Budget By 15%
19 May 2016
On a demand by all three security forces as well as the Ministry of Defence, the federal government has decided to increase defence spending for financial year 2016-17 by 15%, sources told Daily Times.
The budget teams of General Headquarters and the Joint Staff Headquarters have already completed negotiations with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar regarding defence needs of the armed forces during the next financial year. Dar has reportedly assured the military leadership that all financial requirements of the security services will be taken care of. The government has also agreed to some suggestions by Ministry of Defence and the Joint Staff Headquarters with regard to taxes and duties on export and import of defence equipment, official sources told Daily Times. The defence budget of current financial year is Rs 788 billion which is likely to go up to Rs 900 to Rs 910 billion in the next budget.
Government is also considering to wave off sales tax as well as customs duty on import of defence equipment, sources said. It was one of the basic demands of the defence ministry as Defence Production Division was paying huge amount in taxes on export of military hardware.
The proposal of induction of 17,600 men in the armed forces was also considered during the meetings. The armed forces also wanted the establishment of a pay and pension commission for their personnel. Sources said that Pakistan Navy wants its budget raised to 15% from existing 10.5% of the total defence budget. It has asked for over Rs 80 billion for the next financial year as it wants to boost the number of submarines, sources said.
Source : dailytimes.com.pk