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PESHAWAR: The cabinet of the provincial caretaker government will approve budgetary proposals for the next four months in its next meeting.

However, it is not clear when the cabinet will meet.

The decision about the budget’s approval was made during a meeting chaired by caretaker Chief Minister retired Justice Dost here at the CM Secretariat on Tuesday, said a statement issued here.

CM curtails his discretionary funds, approves 10pc pay, pension raise

The meeting was attended by finance minister Abdur Rauf Khan Khattak, additional chief secretary Shahzad Bangash, principal secretary to the chief minister Shahab Ali Shah and planning and development secretary Zahir Shah.

The participants discussed the budgetary proposals and development schemes reflected in the ADP 2018-19. The CM ordered the curtailing of his discretionary and secret funds.

He approved the 10 per cent increase in the salary and pension of the provincial government employees.

The officials briefed participants on the transfer of federal funds to the province, AGN Kazi formula, and the province’s net hydel power share and gas royalty.

The meeting also discussed the province’s own revenue and hurdles to tax net widening.

Retired Justice Dost ordered the efficient use of resources to ensure the people’s development.

He said the practical implementation on the AGN Kazi formula, endorsed by the president through a presidential order and even owned by the relevant quarter would increase the province’s share in net hydel power.

“The Supreme Court has legitimised the province’s claim but the provincial government should have the capacity to discover the scope of the verdict and should have got the full advantage of the decision of the superior judiciary,” he said.

The CM said the merger of seven tribal districts with the province had posed multiple challenges for the province.

He said the challenges included the implementation on financial plan of the federal government for the expeditious mainstreaming of tribal areas.

Retired Justice Dost said the province was short of resources to undertake the huge task of reconstruction and rehabilitation of tribal region.

He said meagre resources were available for the much-needed infrastructure development and the overall rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for efficient services in the merged districts.

The CM asked officials to identify weaknesses in tax collection exercise and promised corrective measures.

He also ordered the development of a plan to establish a university on two tribal districts and four professional colleges in the region along with the ‘feeding schools’.

Retired Justice Dost said the tribal regions had their own advantages and those advantages would be tagged and exploited for the benefit of the local residents.

He declared the exploration of tourism and agriculture sectors a source of revenue and said the authorities should plan the promotion of scenic spots as tourist destinations to attract people from within the country and abroad.

The CM said the farmers should adopt modern crop growing techniques to get better produce and the relevant department should educate and train farmers on them.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2018