Islamabad, May 02, 2018 (PPI-OT): Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Wednesday termed recent hike in the defence budget a necessity in the wake of ever-increasing internal and external challenges. A ten percent increase in the defence allocation is less than required but some elements continue to criticise it which is against the national interests.
Their disapproval also indicates lack of knowledge about the ground realities and challenges faced by Pakistan, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that last year’s defence budget was 998 billion rupees which has been increased by 102 billion to 1100 billion rupees which will also address the issues like inflation, devaluation and hike in salaries.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that Pakistan is facing serious threats but its defence budget is not even twenty percent of the defence budget of neighbouring India. Some powerful countries want to destabilise Pakistan and damage CPEC while countermeasures require resources which should be kept in the mind, he said.
The business leaders said that the elements that want to make defence budget a controversial issue should not remain silent over trillions of rupees of tax and other relaxations given to the nobility. Moreover, the princely living of our politicians, wastage of trillions of rupees by state-run-corporations and circular debt which is almost equal to the total defence outlay should also catch the attention of critics, he added.
He said that Army continues to offer great sacrifices to ensure peace across the country while the army and sister forces are getting only 3.2 percent of the GDP worth 34 trillion rupees. There are over fifty countries including India spending more on the defence as compare to Pakistan but such issues are not criticised there. The nation stands behind the army and those who cannot support this institution should not criticise it unnecessarily, he demanded.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry (ICSTSI)
24-D, 3rd Floor, Rashid Plaza Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
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