US rewards Pak with 40% aid jump

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a 40 per cent increase in American aid to Pakistan,amounting to $1.4 billion,as part of his $3.77 trillion budget that focusses on new job creation and economic growth

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington | Published: April 11, 2013 1:03 am

Lalit K Jha

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a 40 per cent increase in American aid to Pakistan,amounting to $1.4 billion,as part of his $3.77 trillion budget that focusses on new job creation and economic growth.

The President proposed to increase the US aid to Pakistan under overseas contingency operations for the fiscal year beginning October 1,an increase of 40 per cent than the $1 billion that he had proposed in the last year’s budget for the fiscal 2013. Obama also proposed to reduce the deficit by another $1.8 trillion.

According to Obama’s budget proposals,the State Department’s $47.8 billion budget includes $6.8 billion for the frontline states of Iraq ($2.1 billion),Afghanistan ($3.4 billion) and Pakistan.

The proposals included $3 billion in base funding and $3.8 billion in overseas contingency operations funding.

“The Budget prioritises core diplomatic and development activities to ensure strong,lasting partnerships with these countries and to promote stability,” the proposals said.

In view of the terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi in Libya last year,the budget provides over $4 billion to secure overseas personnel and facilities,including sufficient funding for the State Department to increase embassy security construction to $2.2 billion,as recommended by the Benghazi Accountability Review Board.

The Budget continues support for US security,diplomatic,and development goals in Afghanistan,Pakistan,and Iraq,while scaling down funding for operations and assistance. It includes resources for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to support strong,long term partnerships with these countries.

Obama’s budget also reflects its latest posture in the Asia pacific region.

The US and its interests are inextricably linked with Asia’s economies and security,and it welcomes economic prosperity across the Asia-Pacific region,the proposals said. “The Budget makes strategic,coordinated and Government-wide investments in a wide range of tools across the Asia-Pacific region,which will help create American jobs,empower American businesses,and maintain the security and stability necessary for economic growth,” the proposals said.

$377 trillion budget aimed to draw jobs

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday presented $ 377 trillion annual budget which he said will not only reduce the budget deficit but will also make America “a magnet for good jobs” and put the country on the path of economic prosperity.

Obama described it as a “fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth”,while the opposition Republicans were quick to term it as blueprint for recession.

In his remarks at the Rose Garden of the White House after sending his annual budget proposals to the Congress Ob ama said: “At a time when too many Americans are still looking for work,my Budget begins by making targeted investments in areas that will create jobs right now,and prime our economy to keep generating good jobs down the road,”

He added,“To make America a magnet for good jobs,this Budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions into global centers of high-tech jobs,” he said.

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