PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is set to present over Rs1 trillion budget for the upcoming fiscal year in the provincial assembly today (Monday).

According to official documents, the outlay for 2022-23 consists of more than Rs900 billion for the current expenditures while more than Rs400 billion has been allocated for the development sector.

Provincial Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra will present the fourth and second last budget of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in the province.

The acting governor, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, who is also speaker of the provincial assembly, has already convened the session of the house in which budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be presented.

More than Rs900 billion allocated for current expenditures and Rs400 billion for development sector

The development portfolio of the provincial budget consists of more than 2,000 development schemes including 1,400 for the settled districts, 360 for tribal districts, 331 under the Accelerated Implementation Programme for the merged districts and 64 are foreign-assisted projects.

Of the total 2,000 development schemes for the next year, 1780 are ongoing while the remaining 322 are newly proposed schemes, according to the documents.

The government departments have utilised 74 per cent of the Rs205.8 billion released development budget for the outgoing financial year 2021-22.

The revised allocation for the settled districts in the current budget was Rs160.4 billion against which the government released Rs152.3 billion while the departments utilised Rs 112 billion by the end of May, 74 per cent of the released funds.

The documents depict a grim picture of the Annual Development Programme for the seven merged districts as revised allocation in this head has been reflected as Rs2.4 billion but not a single penny has been released in this connection.

Similarly, revised allocation for Accelerated Implementation Programme was Rs41 billion out of which Rs37.1 billion was released to the departments, which utilised Rs28 billion by the end of May.

Salient schemes reflected in the proposed ADP include establishment of university in Bajur, upgradation of Swat University campus in Shangla into a full-fledged university, provision of missing facilities including furniture, computer, other equipment and books to the libraries in the commerce colleges of the merged districts.

The important projects reflected in the proposed ADP for the elementary and secondary education department include a programme for management of poorly performing schools by engagement with private sector, completion of leftover work in reconstruction of the schools destroyed by the devastating earthquake in 2005, standardisation of 200 primary schools with highest enrolment on need basis, establishment of 100 girls primary schools, strengthening of cadet colleges in merged districts, incentives for best performing students from first grade to 8th in the schools of tribal districts.

The documents have also declared some of the projects as “critically delayed” including construction of access roads to tourist destinations in Hazara division, construction of boundary wall, main gate and checkpost in Surizai area of Peshawar under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, construction of cricket stadium with allied facilities in Kalam, Swat, development of tourist spots and revamping of non-teaching district headquarters hospitals across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Published in Dawn,June 13th, 2022

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