PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will present over Rs800 billion budget for the next financial year on next Tuesday.
Provincial finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra told reporters here on Friday that the budget also included current and development allocations for the merged tribal districts, previously called Fata as a region.
He said the province’s annual development programme (ADP) would be record high with most allocations being made to strategic sectors.
Minister says govt to save Rs60bn by cutting expenditure
Mr Jhagra said the finance department had managed to cut the province’s current expenditure by a whopping Rs87 billion.
He said the government would save Rs30 billion by increasing the age of government employees’ age of superannuation by three years. Earlier in the day, the provincial cabinet approved an increase in the government employees’ retirement age from 60 years to 63 years.
Mr Jhagra said the retirement age decision would pump Rs30 billion into the province’s economy and thus, helping create huge employment opportunities.
He said the government would save Rs60 billion by cutting expenditure.
The minister said the government had held detailed deliberations over the cutting of the size of the province’s throw-forward liability by Rs200 billion.
“We have carried out comprehensive exercises on both current and development sides,” he said. Mr Jhagra said reduction in the throw-forward liability would enable the government to spare more funds for strategic sectors, which could add more revenue to the exchequer.
He said the government would increase its revenue to Rs100 billion by 2023.
The minister said the government was setting up a revenue taskforce under the chief minister’s supervision to setting strategic direction for the revenue generating efforts.
He said the government was working on the incentivisation of tax collection process for the provincial taxmen and would get performance-based incentives instead of allowances.
Mr Jhagra said the government’s efforts had caused the KP Revenue Authority’s collections to increase by 49 per cent.
He said the merged areas’ budget would be Rs83 billion more than routine.
The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Army were very supportive regarding the development of tribal districts. He said around Rs100 billion from the defence budget would go to the development of merged areas and Balochistan.
Mr Jhagra said the provincial government would decide about where to spend development money for the region.
“We have reviewed the 10 years development plan several times to be ensure the money is spent in right places,” he said.
The minister said there was no burden of debts on the province.
He said the province had allocated Rs15 billion for retiring debt in the current fiscal, which was likely to go up to Rs20 billion in the next.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019