Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pakistan Army seeks $525 mn additional funds

Islamabad, Dec 15 (IANS) The Pakistan Army has sought an additional Rs.45 billion (about $525 million) to meet security requirements, an official said.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's economic team, led by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, has told him about the 'prevailing grave economic situation' and the challenges in bridging the ever-widening 'gap between national income and expenditure'.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the briefing focused on Pakistan Army's request for additional funds and the consequences of delaying power sector reforms.
Shaikh last week met army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi to discuss the issue.
The daily did not say why the army needed more funds.
Pakistan's defence budget for 2010-11 is at Rs.130 billion.
The finance ministry has indicated that an additional Rs.10 billion could be set aside, the daily said Wednesday.
The army has 480,000 soldiers. Of them, 147,000 are deployed on the country's western borders, including the tribal areas, 100,000 guard the border with India, 10,000 are on UN peacekeeping duties outside Pakistan and 16,000 are engaged in training. Some 62,600 troops are in cantonments.
Another media report said the army gets 46.83 percent of the defense budget, with the rest going to the air force, the navy and the defense ministry.

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