PESHAWAR: The development budget of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has dropped slightly from the projected amount last year due to financial constraints. The provincial government announced an allocation of Rs318 billion for FY21, which is 0.3 per cent lower than that of 2019-20.
In revised estimates for the ongoing fiscal year, the provincial government said its development spending was below projections by Rs98.5bn, coming in at Rs220.5bn in revised figures. The white paper said sharply reduced spending in March, April and May were responsible and the results of the lockdown.
Provincial Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra unveiled the budget in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
Out of Rs318bn funds for the development sector of the province, Rs83bn is for the merged district, Rs149bn for the settled and Rs86bn is foreign project assistance, reveals the budget documents.
The total development budget also includes Rs54bn for the district development to be overseen by the local government.
Main chunk of the development funds goes to the five main sectors of the province as Rs41.8bn is allocated for roads, Rs39bn for education sector including Rs30.2bn for the elementary and secondary and Rs8.9bn for the higher education, Rs29.76bn under the head of multi-sectoral development, Rs24.38bn for health and Rs18.6bn for water.
The provincial government has planned to construct 300 new public sector schools, upgrade 534 and uplift 1,210 more.
Around 3,000 assistant-sub divisional education officers (ASDEO) will be recruited for supervision of government schools. Currently, an ASDEO monitors around 60 schools and the new hiring aims to reduce that number to seven or eight.
The education department also plans to launch a literacy program in 13,000 government schools.
To provide free health facilities under Health Insurance Scheme, Rs10bn has been allocated. The provincial government has planned to recruit 30,000 new employees in the sector to improve services in the public sector hospitals.
Similarly, Rs2.4bn are allocated for the integration of health services delivery programme and Rs1.1bn for the uplift of non-teaching district headquarter hospitals.
Another Rs4bn is outlayed for the construction of new blocks at Peshawar Institute of Cardiology and Khyber Teaching Hospital.
The KP government has planned to utilise around Rs10bn on different roads with the cooperation of the Asian Development Bank while another Rs3.5bn has been allocated for the construction of 835km roads in Peshawar, Mardan, Hazara, Kohat, Malakand, DI Khan and Bannu divisions.
Uplift of urban and rural areas
It has also earmarked Rs5bn for the uplift of urban and rural areas including Rs3.9bn for the municipal services, Rs1.8bn of the missing link of the ring road, Rs0.5bn for Peshawar development programme etc.
Tourism and Sports
The provincial government would utilise Rs1.1bn for the promotion of tourism with support of the World Bank and Rs0.44bn would be spent on the rehabilitation of the Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium, Peshawar.
Similarly, around Rs2bn is set aside for the establishment of the play grounds in the province.
For the merged districts, an amount of Rs3.7bn is allocated for the monthly stipend of girls’ students enrolled in government schools and Rs2bn for the provision of missing facilities.
The government has also earmarked Rs2bn for the provision of medicine and equipment in the hospitals of merged districts and Rs1bn for the recruitment of doctors in the far-off areas of the erstwhile Fata.
Meanwhile, an amount of Rs1.2bn is outlayed for the provision of sports facilities and Rs1.15bn for the wellbeing of youth.
Around Rs5bn are allocated for the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the erstwhile Fata including Mir-Ali Tal road, Khar-Temargara Road, Pir Qala-Ghalania road etc.
Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2020