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Record Rs118bn ADP: KP govt aims to halve poverty

June 18, 2013
File photo
File photo

PESHAWAR, June 17: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s Rs118 billion Annual Development Programme 2013-14, unveiled here on Monday, promises to accelerate growth, reduce poverty, and create healthy, educated and a tolerant society.

Presenting an all-time high development outlay for the KP at a time when the province miserably failed to materialise the outgoing financial year’s development expenditure targets, Minister for Finance Siraj-ul-Haq promised that the new ADP would help bring down poverty by half in the next three years’ time.

The provincial government’s White Paper, containing revenue estimates and expenditure details, sets an over ambitious for the ADP 2013-14 to achieve a ‘sustained 7 per cent growth rate or above within 3 years to create the required number of jobs and to keep unemployment within acceptable level.”

Similarly, it promises to help reduce incidence of poverty by half in the next three years through well-designed, targeted interventions.

However, the Rs118bn financing plan for the next year’s ADP, according to the budget documents, is fraught with an inbuilt ‘operational shortfall’ of Rs10.76bn. The government has not put forward any plan how it would fill the gap between its over-pitched ADP and the available resources.

The provincial government has committed to provide Rs83bn (with an inbuilt operational shortfall of Rs10.76bn) from its own resources to execute the new ADP for which it expects total foreign assistance of Rs35bn of which Rs30.7bn would come in grants from foreign donors and the remaining Rs4.3bn of foreign loans.

However, the foreign aid assistance has come as a negation of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf led provincial government’s claim that after coming into it would give up ‘begging bowl’.

Presenting the revenue receipts and revenue expenditure estimates for the next financial year, the government has claimed that it would accrue a net surplus of Rs72.24bn which would be diverted to implement the locally funded component of the new ADP.

The province has failed to materialise its outgoing financial year’s plan of diverting Rs74.2bn revenue account surplus to the current ADP as it has reflected a total of Rs52.13 billion resources for development in the financial year 2012-13.

While the available development resources for development in the outgoing financial year have been reflected at Rs52.13bn, the government has reflected the total development expenditure at Rs88.13bn, without specifying from where it has arranged the remaining funds.

The new ADP, comprising a total of 983 development projects, promises the continuation of the province’s strategic move to achieve development targets set under its comprehensive development strategy. It also promises sustained emphasis on the province’s economic growth strategy.

It also commits to attach priority to health, education, energy and power, sports, tourism and youth affairs all forming focus of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s and Jamaat-i-Islami’s election programmes.

Under the new ADP, 70 per cent of the available financial resources would be allocated to the ongoing development schemes. With the help of enhanced financial allocations for 609 ongoing development projects, the government aims at completing 404 projects during the next financial year.

Besides, it envisages the initiation of work on 374 new development projects for which the government would allocate 30 per cent of the total ADP funds in the next financial year.

ADP puts emphasis on improving facilities, infrastructure, and enhance beautification of Peshawar, the provincial capital. The provincial finance minister said the government would spend Rs4.69bn to execute a new initiative, titled “Peshawar Uplift Programme” in the 2013-14 financial year, improving road network, cleanliness, water supply, and sanitation schemes in the city.

He said the government has started planning to introduce ‘Mass Transit System’ in the provincial capital, improving the broken down roads and constructing new link roads in the city.

In continuation with the past, the new government, too, would allocate Rs1.67bn to ‘District’s Annual Development Programme’ under which 25 districts receive development funds on the basis of a formula envisaged under the provincial finance commission award. The provincial finance minister announced that the government had declared ‘energy emergency’ in the province under which indigenous resources would be utilised to overcome the current energy crisis in the province.

As per the sectoral allocations, education and health sectors would get Rs1bn each more in the new fiscal year as compared to the outgoing year to execute annual development programmes. The provincial government has allocated Rs8.1bn for elementary and secondary education under the new ADP, Rs5.7bn for higher education, Rs7.99bn for health sector schemes, Rs1.4bn for energy and power sector, Rs3.88bn for the schemes to be conducted by the provincial finance department, Rs14.75bn for regional development, Rs10.3bn for roads, Rs4.7bn for urban development, Rs3.14bn for water sector related schemes.