PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance minister Taimur Jhagra on Friday unveiled the Rs371 billion annual development programme (ADP) for the next financial year, 2021-22.

During the budget session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here, the minister said the government’s core focus in the upcoming year would be on the acceleration of economic recovery, employment generation, uplifting of the human development index, and prioritisation of service delivery.

According to the budget documents, the actual budgetary allocations for development in the current fiscal were Rs317.9 billion but they were later reduced to Rs250 billion.

Of the Rs250 billion revised budget, only Rs168 billion has so far been utilised.

A huge amount of Rs100 billion has been set aside for the development of the merged tribal districts, including the annual development programme (ADP), donor-funded projects and accelerated implementation plan (AIP).

Minister says budget to focus on speedy economic recovery, job creation

Of the Rs100 billion budget for tribal districts under AIP, Rs36 billion will come from the centre and KP, which are to contribute Rs30 billion and Rs6 billion, respectively.

However, the AIP has Rs34.6 billion ‘unfunded allocation’ showing contributions from the divisible pool by Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. It is unlikely to materialise as other provinces are not ready to contribute funds to the development of tribal areas.

Until now, the three provinces have not contributed even a single penny to the last three budgets after the merger of Fata with KP.

Of the total development outlay, Rs89.15 billion is foreign funding for development schemes of 18 departments. In the foreign-funded portion of the budget, Rs16.823 billion is grant and Rs72.328 billion loan.

A big chunk of Rs168.129 billion has been earmarked for 1,879 ongoing development schemes and Rs59.27 billion for 444 new schemes.

As for the development funds, Rs37.4 billion will go for roads, Rs33 billion for multi-sectoral development, Rs22.47 billion for healthcare, Rs17.58 billion for elementary and secondary education, Rs17.4 billion for the development of districts and Rs15.6 billion for water.

The elementary and secondary education department has planned to build, upgrade and repair 2,100 schools creating learning space for 120,000 more children and youth. The appointment of 243,000 teachers, including 4,300 in the merged tribal areas, and 3,000 school leaders is also part of the next budgetary plan.

The government will build 10,000 model classrooms in primary schools under the Early Childhood Education Programme and 276 science laboratories in high and higher secondary schools. Similarly, Rs4.5 billion has been allocated for the provision of furniture to government schools across the province.

According to the budget documents, the higher education department will upgrade 30 colleges as the ‘premier colleges’ through provision of modern facilities.

Also, the construction of 40 colleges will be completed in the next financial year.

The government has also allocated Rs1 billion for the provision of furniture to colleges and Rs230 million for the award of higher education scholarships to the students from tribal districts.

A total of Rs14.9 billion funds will be spent in the next two years on the reconstruction of the major government hospitals.

The budget has Rs2.7 billion for the stabilisation of basic health units and rural health centres and Rs2.8 billion for the extension of Rescue 1122 service to all tehsils of the province.

The development budget for culture, tourism and sports department has gone up from Rs2 billion in the current fiscal to Rs12 billion in the next.

The funds will be used to establish a ‘sports arena’, install a chairlift in Chitral, construct roads in Malakand and Hazara divisions and establish indoor gems for women at district levels.

The government has allocated Rs37.46 billion for the construction of roads across the province, including Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan Motorway, Peshawar Northern Bypass, Swat Motorway Phase-II, Dir-Chakdara Motorway and Peshawar-Torkham Motorway.

PRO-POOR BUDGET: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has said the provincial budget for financial year 2021-22 is a balanced, pro-poor and historic one.

“This is the largest ever budget in the history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said in a statement.

The CM said all sectors had been fully focused in the budget, whose implementation would bring about a new era of development in the province and visible positive change in the people’s life.

He said it was a tax-free budget as no new tax had been levied and instead, historical exemptions were given to different sectors.

“Despite difficult financial situation, the provincial government did not make any compromise on the developmental portfolio and Rs370 billion has been allocated for the developmental projects, 33 per cent of the total budget,” he said.

The CM said the special focus had been given to the ongoing developmental projects of public welfare to complete them in time for which 80 per cent of the developmental budget had been allocated.

He said all possible efforts had been made to provide maximum relief to the common man in the budget.

Mr Mahmood said Rs20 billion had been earmarked for food basket programme and wheat flour subsidy.

He said the social sector had been the top most priority of PTI government, so the budget of education, health, drinking water and other social sector had been increased manifold.

The CM said the Sehat Card Plus Scheme was a flagship project of the provincial government and that various initiatives had been proposed to make it further comprehensive.

He said free liver transplants had been included in the scheme, while free blood transfusion was also being covered in the scheme.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021


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