Pakistan Boosts Defense Budget

Pakistan Boosts Defense Budget

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has once again increased its defense spending as revealed in the fiscal year 2015-16 budget revealed Friday. The double-digit increase is in line with successive increases in recent years, but analysts predict the increase will once again be absorbed by operational demands. A resumption of wider state-funded defense modernization efforts is therefore uncertain given the still uncertain state of the economy.

Reports previous to the unveiling of the budget indicated the fiscal year 2015-16 defense budget allocation stood at 772 billion Pakistani rupees (US $7.6 billion).

However, the figures unveiled Friday showed 781 billion rupees (nearly US $7.7 billion) for “‘Defence Affairs and Services,” an approximately 11 percent increase over the previous year’s budget, according to the Associated Press.

Regardless, much of any increase will be to finance the ongoing operation against the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), Operation Zarb-e-Azab.

A breakdown of allocations to the various services is presently unavailable.

There has also been some confusion regarding the security for the recently signed Pakistan-China Economic Corridor project, with previous reports saying some 45-50 billion rupees (up to US$491 million) had been set aside for its related security, but the budget only showing a figure of 3.5 billion rupees (US$34 million).

Source: Pakistan Boosts Defense Budget

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