Army accepts to budget cut amid economic troubles, PM declare

ISLAMABAD: In a rare move, the army has agreed to cut its hefty budget for the following fiscal yr ( 2019-2020 ) to help ease the country’s “critical financial situation”, Prime Minister Imran Khan declared in a tweet on Tuesday. Pakistan has struck a contract in principle with the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) for a $6 billion bailout deal but Islamabad is anticipated to put in place calculates to rein in a ballooning economic and present account deficits to get access to the funds.

The IMF has declared the primary budget deficit should be trimmed by the equivalent of $5 billion, but the earlier governments have not trimmed defense spending in the backdrop of the highly volatile regional security situation. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Hafeez Shaikh, on June 11 is due to publicize investing plans for the economic yr starting in July. Under Pakistan’s devolved system, the federal government must hand over more than half its budget to the provinces, and the remainder is mainly eaten up by debt servicing and the defense budget.

Khan late on Tuesday tweeted that he appreciated the military’s “unprecedented voluntary initiative of stringent cuts in their defense expenditures” for following finance yr because of the country’s “critical financial situation”. This will allow funds to be spent on the development of the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, still recovering from a lot more than a decade-long insurgency, and Balochistan province, Khan added. The prior govt hiked army spending by 20 % to 1 .1 billion, but the army appears to have overshot that figure amid a flare-up in tensions with arch-foe India.

However, Khan did not say by how much defense investing would be trimmed. On Tuesday, the Inter-Services Public Relations ( ISPR ) Director General ( DG ) Major General Asif Ghafoor declared the “voluntary cut” in the defense budget for a year would “not be at the expense of def ( defense ) & security”.Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Data and Broadcasting, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan , has praised the decision and noted that the army expressed confidence in the government’s policies by voluntarily cutting the defense budget.

While addressing a ceremony in Sialkot, Awan declared that the govt, in line with austerity measure, would decrease its expenditures to minimum possible level. She further declared that the govt would fulfill the demands of each soldier. She said: “The govt has reset its priorities,” while adding that the “Prime Minister Imran Khan is the savior of the nation and people have total confidence in his capabilities to steer the nation out of crises”.

Criticizing the PML-N leadership, Awan declared present inflation was the result of corruption and bad governance of prior governments. She declared people of Pakistan gave the mandate to PM Imran to rid the country of the decayed system and added that the PM would never compromise on his principles. “It is the first time in 70 yrs history of Pakistan that corrupt and powerful are brought to justice,” she added.

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