Pakistan has announced an 11 percent increase in its defense budget for 2016, allocating $7.64 billion to help fund its ongoing war against insurgents in the northern region, while the outlayed budget for 2015-16 is of 4.451 trillion rupees.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told parliament on Friday that the country's defense budget has been increased from 700 billion to 780 billion rupees — or $7.64 billion.
He says the increase is meant for security and military needs.
Pakistan has been fighting Islamic militants for more than a decade, with major troop deployments in tribal regions near Afghanistan's border.
Dar says the country will receive 154 billion rupees, or $1.509 billion, in defense services in 2016 — payment from the United States' coalition support fund for coalition forces in Afghanistan who are using Pakistani territory for logistic support.
Dar said the government would seek to end tax exemptions which are common and look at ways of punishing those who dodge taxes.
Investor confidence has returned as the economy shows signs of stabilizing amid historically low interest rates, falling inflation and support from international lending agencies.
But economists caution that militant violence, daily power outages curtailing industrial production and abysmally low tax collection rates threaten to hold Pakistan back.
The fiscal year’s budget also suggest reductions in salaried person’s tax from 5% to 2%; while minimum wage has been increased to 13,000 rupees.
Good news for pensioners is that pension is increased by 7.5%, 20.88 billion allocated for health, 71.5 billion allocated for education which is surely less than defense budget. 25 million for scholarships.
Terrorism cost Pakistan a lot more than money, it destroyed its tourism industry as well. If we see such big increase in defense budget, it may be because we still have fear to countering the new terrorists groups. For that reason our educational budget is lesser than defense.
Link related to blog: Tribune