90pc of Rs230bn uplift funds to go to ongoing projects in KP in next fiscal

Updated June 18, 2019

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Finance minister to unveil Rs900bn budget today. — APP/File
Finance minister to unveil Rs900bn budget today. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government will present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s seventh consecutive budget today (Tuesday) with an outlay of around Rs900 billion.

Finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra will unveil the budget in the provincial assembly, which is scheduled to meet at 3pm.

Sources told Dawn that the budget had the highest development allocation in the province’s history of more than Rs230 billion.

For the first time, the budget also includes the province’s merged areas, whose allocations total Rs162 billion.

Of this, Rs62 billion will be spent on recurring expenditures while development portfolio has been projected at Rs100 billion.

Finance minister to unveil Rs900bn budget today

KP has allocated three per cent of divisible pool for the merged areas, which amounts to Rs11 billion.

A source said the province’s own development programme has been pitched at over Rs230 billion, which includes the provincial component of Rs108 billion, district component of Rs46 billion and donor assistance of Rs82 billion.

The projected share of development funds meant for districts has also witnessed a huge increase of 63 per cent. In the current year, the amount was downward revised to Rs23 billion.

He said around 90 per cent of development allocations were likely to go to the ongoing projects totaling as around 300 schemes are targeted for completion in the next financial year.

The source said Rs51 billion of development funds would be spent on priority sectors, including education, health, agriculture, forestry, water and roads.

He said the government had planned to spend a huge amount of over Rs4 billion on the construction of approach roads to tourist destinations, while a special police force would set up to protect tourists.

The source said the government had also managed to bring down the province’s throw-forward liability to four years from six years through an extensive rationalisation exercise.

He said the government would also announce procurement reforms to ensure value for public money in public procurement.

The source said that government had set an ambitious revenue target of Rs53 billion, which was 29 per cent more than the current year’s.

During the current year, the province’s own revenue target was revised from initial Rs41 billion to Rs34 billion.

The government has planned to increase its revenue by 35 per cent during the next fiscal.

The source said the province had also managed to slash the worrying growth of the current expenditure from 15 per cent to four per cent, while efforts are under way to curtail the province’s rising pension bill.

He said changes to pension rules and increase in the upper age limit of superannuation to 63 years was likely to save the province up to Rs18 billion annually.

The source said the unnecessary current expenditure would be further slashed by merging the government’s entities and abolishing redundant government bodies besides aligning of the overlapping mandate of several departments to avoid duplication of resources.

He said the government officials from BPS-1 to BPS-16 would get 10 per cent pay raise and those in BPS-17-19 five per cent, while payments to pensioners would go up by 10 per cent.

The source said the salary of cabinet members would come down by more than 10 per cent.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2019