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Pakistan hikes defence budget by 10 per cent

PTI 04 Jun 2014, 11:30:20 IST
Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday said it would boost its defence spending by about 10 per cent from USD 627 billion to USD 700 billion. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar disclosed this as he presented the USD 3.9 trillion national budget in the National Assembly.

He said that the country cannot be oblivious to national security. He termed the budget as business friendly and it would help the government to attract both domestic and foreign investment into the manufacturing sector.

Dar said tax rebate will be allowed till 2017 in order to attract foreign direct investment in manufacturing, construction and housing sectors.

The government also decided to set up Pakistan Land Port Authority to transform land ports into efficient facilitators of trade, which will help boost exports.

The Finance Minister announced various measures to strengthening textile sector for promotion of its exports.

Dar said the budget strategy is embedded in a three-year medium term macro-economic framework with increase in GDP growth rate upto seven per cent by the end of 2016-17.

He said the government has planned to increase public sector development programmes up to Rs 525 billion in the coming financial year, which shows 24 per cent increase as compared to the previous year.

He said government has been successful in bringing down budget deficit from 8.2 per cent to 5.8 per cent during the last one year and is hopeful to further reduce to 4.9 per cent in the coming year.

The Finance Minister also presented the Finance Bill 2014-15 before the house for discussion and approval.