PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra on Saturday said the government had decided to release 100 per cent of the annual development programme (ADP) funds at the start of the upcoming financial year.
Addressing the post-budget briefing here, Mr Jhagra said the development budget would be released on July 1 to ensure speedy work on schemes.
He said it was up to the government departments to improve their performance.
The minister said the government has presented a historic budget in difficult situation.
He said tax reliefin the budget were meant to the common man.
Mr Jhagra said the zeroing of professional tax was going to benefit professional class, while the exemption of agricultural land tax was going to benefit over 700,000 farmers in the province.
Minister says move promises speedy uplift work
He said the waiver of registration tax would also help the middle class of the province.
The minister said reduction of tax rate also helped broaden the tax base.
He said the province had a narrow tax base, which it needed to broaden.
Mr Jhagra said the government had improved its tax collection and urban immovable tax collection has jumped up from Rs4 billion to Rs7 billion.
He said the KP Revenue Authority had increased its tax collection from Rs10 billion to Rs20 billion.
The minister said tax target for the coming fiscal was ambitious one and it would be good for the province.
He said the provincial government would provide the collected urban immovable property tax to the tehsil municipal administrations at the start of the year for their projects.
Mr Jhagra said the government was in contact with hotel owners in Galiyat area regarding tax issues and that taxes collected from the area would be spent by the local authorities for area development.
He said the government had planned to disburse Rs10 billion loans to small business like low-cost schools, small and medium enterprise and mobile shops to offset the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The minister said for the last eight months, the provincial government, after reaching an agreement with the federal government, was regularly getting the net hydel profit (NHP) proceeds in regular installments.
He said every month, provincial government was receiving Rs3 billion in lieu of NHP proceeds, which was something unprecedented in the KP history.
Mr Jhagra said it was agreed in a meeting recently chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by federal finance minister Shaukat Tarin that the centre would pay Rs36 NHP arrears to the province in two installments.
He said the government had increased the government employees’ salaries keeping in view their financial problems.
The minister said the government wouldn’t encroach on the employees’ rights.
He said food subsidy amounting to Rs10 billion was being given to the people.
Mr Jhagra said the government had also increased the funding of tehsil municipal administrations from Rs9 billion to Rs15 billion.
He said allocations had been increased to prevent the use of development funds for current expenditure.
Additional chief secretary Shahab Ali Shah, who was also present on the occasion, said the highest number of Chitraldistrict’s roads had been included in the Public Sector Development programme.
- Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2021*