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MULTAN: Mr N.M. Uquaili, Central Finance Minister, today [March 2] said that the Pakistan Government had been disappointed to find that India had again raised its annual defence expenditure. Increased allocation to defence in the new Indian Budget proves that India does not want to reciprocate Pakistan’s gesture of reducing defence expenditure, he said.

Pakistan had done this as a peace-loving nation in order to break the vicious circle in which the defence outlays of India and Pakistan had been caught, Mr Uquaili declared while speaking at a luncheon arranged by the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Referring to the taxation policy of the Government, Mr Uquaili said funds were needed to meet the urgent defence and development needs of the country.

The Finance Minister said that during the current Plan period about 44 per cent of the total outlay would have to be invested during the first three years of the Plan. For the remaining 60 per cent investment the country would have to accelerate the tempo of development.

Mr Uquaili said the private sector had an important role to play during the current Plan. The Government had provided incentives through its fiscal and monetary policies for the promotion of the private sector in the industrial as well as the agricultural fields.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2018