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Govt sets aside Rs43.7b to secure Afghan border

Govt sets aside Rs43.7b to secure Afghan border

ISLAMABAD: The government has approved allocation of Rs43.7 billion funds in the next fiscal year – 2019-20 – to enhance the capacity of both the civil armed forces and the armed forces in order to counter threats of terrorism and to stop entry of militants from the western border with Afghanistan.

In the ongoing financial year 2018-19, the government has, however, allocated Rs11.65 billion for the civil and armed forces deployed on the Afghanistan border.

Sources said out of the total Rs43.7 billion, an amount of Rs32.5 billion has been allocated as non-development expenditure while Rs11.24 billion has been allocated as development expenditure.

Out of the total Rs11.65 billion allocation for the current fiscal year, an amount of Rs2.81 billion comes from the head of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) while Rs8.84 billion is allocated as non-development expenditure.

According to Ministry of Interior, the armed forces and the civil armed forces are engaged in a war to counter terrorism for the last 15 years. Pakistan Army has made a lot of progress through different initiatives like Operation Zarb-e-Azb and more recently the operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

Officials said the government wants to make the western border more secure to stop entry of terrorists from Afghanistan as the gains of the military operations could only be sustained by making effective arrangements to stop entry of terrorists from across the western border.

For this purpose, former government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had decided to raise some more wings of the Frontier Corps (FC) which required funds amounting to Rs55 billion.

In a recent meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the Ministry of Interior told the ECC that the federal cabinet in its meeting held on January 2, 2019 reviewed a summary for release of Rs55 billion through a supplementary grant.

The cabinet approved release of the supplementary grant of Rs2.81 billion from head of the PSDP during the ongoing financial year 2018-19.

It also decided that a supplementary grant worth Rs12.40 billion from current budget during financial year 2018-19 shall be examined by the finance minister, the finance secretary and the Ministry of Interior secretary who shall rationalise the proposed requirements and present their recommendations for consideration of the cabinet in its next meeting.

Ministry of Interior said in line with the decision of the cabinet, a meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar, was held wherein the demand was rationalised and finance division agreed to the proposals.

Under these proposals, an amount of Rs8.84 billion under head of non-development expenditure may be approved during financial year 2018-19.During the next financial year 2019-20, the remaining allocation of Rs32.514 billion may be approved regarding non-development expenditure.

It observed that an amount of Rs2.81 billion had already been approved while Rs11.24 billion would be allocated from development expenditure for the purpose in the next financial year of 2019-2020.