PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will present the over Rs600 billion election year budget today (Wednesday).

The KP governor has summoned the provincial assembly’s budget session at the assembly building at 2pm.

The cabinet will approve the budgetary proposals earlier in the day.

10pc increase in salary, pension; no new tax likely

Finance minister Muzafar Said will announce the budget in the house.

The 2017-18 budget’s outlay is 19 per cent (around Rs100 billion) more than the current year’s i.e. Rs505 billion.

The officials claimed that it would be a balanced budget as both the revenue and expenditure would come to around Rs600 billion.

According to them, both current and former government employees are likely to get a 10 per cent increase in salary and pension respectively.

Though no new taxes will be levied in the budget, the officials insisted that proposals had been mooted to increase taxes on property, restaurants, vehicle route permits, doctors, travel agents and cable operators in the next fiscal.

On Monday, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had announced that the budget would be tax-free and pro-poor and that the government would enhance the salary and fringe benefits of its employees.

The officials said the budgetary allocations for development schemes would be Rs208 billion in 2017-18, which was around 29 per cent more than the current year’s Annual Development Programme funds.

The provincial component of the ADP will be projected at Rs98 billion, while the district governments’ share in development funds is likely to be around Rs28 billion putting the local component at Rs126 billion.

The officials said 81 per cent of development allocations would go to the ongoing schemes and the rest to the new ones.

They said in the next fiscal, the province would get Rs82 billion as foreign aid, which was 127 per cent of the current year’s.

The officials however attributed the increase in the size of the ADP’s foreign component to the Rs50 billion loan to be secured for the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project, which the provincial government plans to execute later this year.

They said Rs28 billion to be doled out to the district governments would go to all three tiers of the LG system, including district, tehsil and village and neighbourhood councils.

Of the development funds, the elementary and secondary education department is likely to get Rs14 billion, local government department Rs4.5 billion, roads department Rs13.7 billion, urban development department Rs6 billion, health department Rs12 billion and higher education department Rs6 billion.

Likewise, the agriculture schemes is to bag Rs3.8 billion, building sector’s Rs3.4 billion, drinking water and sewage sector’s Rs5.1 billion, finance’s Rs1.5 billion, industries’ Rs1.6 billion and social welfare’s Rs460 million.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2017

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