Defence allocation rises by 10pc to Rs. 275 bn
By Our Reporter: Dawn, June 10, 2007
ISLAMABAD, June 9: The defence budget for the next financial year has been increased to Rs275 billion from Rs250.2 billion of the current year.
Sources told Dawn that separate allocations would be made for the purchase of JF-17 Thunder aircraft from China and F-16 multi-role fighter jets from the United States.
Announcing a nearly 10 per cent hike in the defence budget, Minister of State for Finance Omar Ayub Khan said the country must have credible deterrence and invincible defence to ensure protection of its ideology and economic independence.
In his budget speech, he said: “Pakistan is a nuclear power. If any one looks at us with bad motives, we will respond with full force.”
He said that impregnable defence was indispensable for a nation which wanted to live with honour and dignity. He said the nation was ready to give any sacrifice for the defence of the country.
He said the country and its geographic and ideological boundaries were impregnable because of its independent foreign policy and economic development.
He said the armed forces personnel were ready to lay down their lives for the defence of the country.
Whenever any natural calamity had befallen the country, the armed forces had dealt with it with determination, he said.
“Peace can be had only by making the defence invincible,” he remarked.
The government has allocated Rs4.963 billion for various ongoing and new projects of the defence division in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), 2007-08.
An amount of Rs1.789 billion has been earmarked for 32 ongoing projects, including 10 of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco).
There are 36 new projects. An amount of Rs500,000 has been allocated for reconstruction of an observatory in Balakot, Rs1.8 billion for the Pakistan Communication Satellite System (Paksat IR), Rs7.171 million for metrological training facilities for neighbouring countries, Rs13.719 million for capacity building of the meteorological department, Rs9.935 million for establishment of the aeronautical Met office at Sialkot International Airport, Rs103.71 million for the remote sensing data transmission facility, Rs37.392 million for the satellite bus development facility (Phase 1), Rs26.161 million for development of the satellite dynamic system test facility, Rs41 million for establishment of the atmospheric data receiving and processing centre, Rs 245.79 million for the Paksat project (Phase 1, extension) and Rs31.5 million for upgradation of the precision machine shop.
Among the ongoing projects, Rs7.175 million has been allocated for networking in the offices of the defence ministry, Rs500,000 for the construction of an aero-Met observatory at Sukkur airport, Rs17.587 million for the National Centre for Drought and Early Warning System, Rs750 million for construction of Gwadar international airport, Rs100 million for development of a satellite environmental validation and testing facility in Lahore, Rs175 million for knowhow development and capacity building in satellite engineering and technology, Rs48.22 million for Paksat (phase 1) and Rs52 million for upgrading the propellant testing facility.