PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s development outlay for 2019-20 jumped to record Rs319 billion with a big chunk earmarked for the merged tribal districts.
KP Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra presented the budget in the provincial assembly, which in a historic, first also covers the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Out of the total development portfolio, Rs83bn has been allocated for the seven tribal districts and Rs236bn for the remaining province (settled districts), according to the budget document. The government aims to bring tribal districts at par with the settled districts.
The estimated Annual Development Plan (ADP) for next year for settled districts is worth Rs236bn — nearly double of the revised current allocation which stands at Rs172bn.
The development outlay for the next year also consists of Rs82bn as foreign project assistance along with Rs154bn local funds.
In the current financial year, 90 per cent of the development fund has been allocated for ongoing schemes and only 10 per cent is for new schemes. According to the budget document, as a result of the ADP rationalisation, 63pc of the development outlay has been allocated for new schemes in the budget 2019-20.
The share of three tiers of local government system (district, tehsil/town and village/neighbourhood councils) stands at Rs46bn against the revised estimates of Rs29.345bn in the current year.
Multi-sectoral development has received a major allocation of Rs24.29bn — more than double of the current revised estimates which stand at Rs10.6bn.
The allocation for the road sector has been increased from the current revised Rs20.49bn to the Rs23.69bn for the upcoming year.
The elementary and secondary education department stands third in terms of funding allocation with Rs17.38bn for the next year against the revised estimate of Rs14.9bn in the current year.
An amount of Rs14.29bn is earmarked for the transport department against the revised estimates of Rs26.988bn. Rs13bn has been allocated for water sector, Rs11bn for health, Rs10bn for law and justice, Rs9bn for environment, and Rs9bn for energy and power.
The health department has planned to provide free treatment to masses in the province under the Universal Health Coverage, with the expansion of Sehat Cards to every family in KP by the end of the year. Government servants also have the option of subscribing to this health programmes.
Over Rs7bn will be spent for the enhancement of facilities at flagship tertiary care hospitals including the Peshawar Institute of Cardiology, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Institute of Kidney Diseases, Saidu Teaching Hospital, Fountain House Peshawar and others.
According to the budget document, the focus would be on ‘what’s in the school, what kids learn, and not just new buildings’.
In the next year, 21,000 teachers would be recruited to address multi-grade teaching. A total 65,000 teachers are required to make four teachers in every school.
Similarly, the education department would recruit 3,000 new Assistant Sub-Divisional Officers out of a plan of 7,000. This will significantly improve school leadership, bringing the average number of schools per ASDO from 45+ to 8 and subsequently to 3.
As per the budget documents, the education department will launch “Pakhtunkhwa da para” programme to put graduates from top universities into government schools.
Construction of 6,000 new classrooms out of the 15,000 classrooms required to counter overcrowding and provision of Rs1.86bn for girls stipends.
Creating jobs in the private sector and building the economy, up to Rs2bn for innovative funding programmes for youth, women and other entrepreneurs, Rs2bn for the expansion of the KP Impact Challenge Phase 2.
Tourism and Sports
The provincial government has allocated Rs3.7bn for tourism promotion and destinations development through the World Bank assisted KITE programme.
A special development package for Peshawar including, Rs2bn across current and development budget to Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar to start second shift, Sunday operations and expansion to sub-urban areas.
Rs2.8bn has been allocated for the ‘Billion Tree’ and ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ projects in the province while Rs195m has been earmarked for the Development and Management of National Parks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
More the Rs2.5bn allocated for various schemes under the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme to increase farm productivity, conserve more water, develop more cultivable areas and promote organic lifestyle.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019