BEIJING — China on Saturday announced the country’s lowest defence budget increase in six years in the wake of rising economic gusts and last year’s massive drawdown of service people.
According to a budget report to the national legislature annual session, the government plans to raise the 2016 defence budget by 7.6 percent to 954 billion yuan (about $146 billion), Xinhua news agency reported.
Last year, defense spending was budgeted to rise 10.1 percent to 886.9 billion yuan. On Friday, the spokesperson for China’s parliament said the 2016 ascent would be around 7 to 8 percent.
Friday’s report neither offer further breakdown of the figure nor clarify the method of reasoning behind the abated growth, albeit some officials and military experts have pointed to slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy.
General Chen Zhou linked the forecast-beating slowdown with China’s “economic and social status quo” in an interview with Xinhua.
The cut of 300,000 service people announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2015 might also have helped drive down the defence budget growth figure.
The government put this year’s growth target between 6.5 and 7 percent, compared with last year’s “approximately 7 percent” goal.Follow @gorkhapost
Passenger bus falls from bridge, leaving 12 dead, injuring 46 in India’s Sitamadhi
PATNA — At least 12 people were killed and 46 others injured on Saturday after a passenger bus carrying them fell from a bridge in India’s eastern state of Bihar, officials said.
A bus carrying over 60 passengers fell off a bridge in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, about 130 kilometres north of state capital Patna, killing 12 persons on the spot on Saturday evening, local media reported.
The accident took place at around 6 pm on the National Highway 77 near Bhanaspatti village under Runnisaidpur area of the district. Police said the bus was heading to Aurai via Runnisaidpur from Muzaffarpur.
Reports said following the accident, some of the witnesses informed police who rushed to the spot along with health teams to carry out rescue operation.
Of the injured, 34 were admitted to the primary health centre (PHC) at Runnisaidpur while 12 were rushed to the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur.Follow @gorkhapost