ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday met Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the GHQ, Rawalpindi and discussed the defence budget for the next financial year 2017-2018.

“The financial requirements of Pakistan Army were discussed during the meeting, in the context of the budget for next financial year 2017-2018. The on-going development projects of Pakistan Army as well as the future development plans were discussed in detail,” said a handout released by the Ministry of Finance.

The finance minister said that the government would provide all possible resources to the armed forces to meet the national security and development needs.

“The government had already started to prepare budget for the next financial year, starting from July 2017 and the finance minister’s visit to the GHQ is also part of budget preparation,” said an official of the Ministry of Finance wishing not to be named.

He said that the government would enhance the defence budget as according to the requirement of the army.

The official further said that the finances needed for the recently launched “Operation Raddul Fasaad” were also discussed during the meeting. 

The country’s defence budget has increased by 10-11 per cent in the last few years. 

The government had earmarked Rs860.2 billion for defence budget for the ongoing financial year, 2016-2017, which was 11 per cent higher than the budget of Rs775.8 billion in the year 2015-2016.

The breakup of defence budget showed that Rs327 billion was fixed for employees-related expenses, Rs216.1 billion for operating expenses and Rs211.7 billion had been earmarked for physical assets.

However, the figures do not include Rs177.6 billion allocated for pensions of retired military personnel that are given from the civilian budget.

The government had released Rs336.3 billion for defence during first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year, which is 39 per cent of the annual defence budget.