ISLAMABAD- Federal government has approved a defence budget to the tune of over Rs495.21 billion (about USD 5.75 billion) for the fiscal 2011-12, marking an increase of Rs53 billion (about 12 per cent) over the Rs442 billion outlay in the current fiscal. As per budget documents presented in the National Assembly Friday a sum of over Rs206.48 billion had been allocated for expenses related to employees against over Rs176.72 billion in the last years budget, showing an increase of Rs29.76 billion (16.84 per cent). A sum of over Rs128.28 billion have been earmarked for practical expenses, over Rs 128.28 billion for assets, over Rs42.63 for public works and more than Rs1.25 billion for negative recoveries. On the other hand, over Rs3.84 billion have been allocated for defence division under Public Sector Development Programme of which over Rs1.45 billion were earmarked for ongoing schemes of the Defence Production Division for 2011-12. From these allocations 35 new and ongoing schemes would completed. For the construction of new international air port in Gwadar, an allocation to the tune of over Rs1.10 billion has been made in the funds earmarked for defence sector. It would include installation of ship lift-and-transfer system and associated machinery and equipment to provide docking and repair facilities for surface ships, submarines and commercial vessels of up to 4,000 tonnes. Moreover, Rs365.3 million was allocated for civil works for upgrading Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. An allocation of Rs22 billion was made for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission under the Public Sector Development Programme, budget documents showed. The Pakistan government has traditionally made defence allocations with the objective of maintaining conventional parity with India, but now for the past few years the focus has been gradually shifting to fighting and curbing the militancy in country. Some reports had said that the military and the Defence Ministry had sought an outlay of more than Rs500 billion but the figure was slashed by the Finance Ministry in view of a severe financial crunch and stagnant economic growth. The raise in defence budget comes as pressure mounts on Pakistan to launch a military offensive in the restive North Waziristan region. We stand by our valiant men, who are laying down their lives to safeguard our country, finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told parliament. The country has constantly been suffering because of the existing security situation but the government was determined to improve the economy and provide security to the people, he said. More than 4,410 people have been killed across Pakistan in bomb blasts and suicide attacks blamed in Taliban-and Qaeda-linked militants since July 2007. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for a string of recent attacks against government security forces, vowing to launch even larger ones to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden, shot dead in a US raid last month. A local newspaper reported this week that Pakistan had decided to launch a careful and meticulous military offensive in North Waziristan after a recent visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Islamabad. But Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, the corps commander supervising all military operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told reporters on Wednesday: We will undertake operation in North Waziristan when we want to.