PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Finance Minister Taimru Saleem Khan Jhagra on Monday presented a surplus budget for remaining eight months of fiscal year 2018-19, ARY News reported.
The budget outlay is Rs648billion, with the expenditures estimated at Rs618 billion, targeting a Rs30 billion surplus. The government has proposed an allocation of Rs180 billion for various development schemes.
“We estimate total budgeted revenue for 2018-19 at Rs648billion. This is a 7.5% increase over last year’s budgeted figure of Rs. 603 billion,” provincial finance minister said during his budget speech in KP Assembly.
Rs. 426 billion (66%) in Federal Transfers, including Rs. 360 billion in Federal Tax Assignments, and Rs. 23 billion in straight transfers (or oil and gas royalties)
Rs. 65 billion (10%) in Net Hydel Profits, including Rs. 36 billion in Net Hydel Profit arrears. • Rs. 41 billion (6%) in Provincial Tax and Non-Tax Revenue • Rs. 71 billion (11%) in Foreign Project Assistance • Rs. 45 billion (7%) in other receipts.
“In this budget we are not increasing single tax, but at least we can appeal to citizens & businesses of KP to pay taxes & fees due on them. Rest assured that this is area that will be major priority for PTI government,” said the minister.
Jhagra said that the provincial government is limiting expenditure for the year to Rs618billion, and thus committing to a Rs30 billion surplus.
“This is not because we don’t need or cannot spend the 30 billion,” said the minister.
He announced that the current expenditure budgeted for the year is Rs438billion with salaries and pensions alone budgeted at Rs316billion.
Provincial non-salary expenditure is budgeted at Rs65billion, and district non-salary expenditure at Rs23billion. This totals Rs88 billion against Rs73billion budgeted last year.
“It is absolutely important that over the next five years, we diversify employment opportunities for our people; that we think about how to manage the cost of government. This is something that we will work on through the year,” said Taimur Jhagra.
The development budget
The development budget includes Rs109 billion from our own sources, of which 80 billion is to go to the provincial ADP and 29 billion to the district ADP. The balance, Rs71 billion, is Foreign Project Assistance
Provincial ADP consists of 1376 projects, including 1155 ongoing, and 221 new projects. We are going to try to improve our financial management, so 90% of ADP has gone to existing projects, so that we can clear space for this government’s agenda come June
“Education is a flagship sector for PTI, because before we invest in anything else, we believe we must invest in the future of our children,” said the provincial finance minister.
He announced that the provincial government will spend Rs167.3billion on education, or over 27% of our budget. This includes Rs. 146.11 billion for Elementary and Secondary Education, Rs. 18.8 billion for Higher Education :
Rs. 2.42 billion for Technical Education and Manpower. Last year’s expenditure on education was Rs131billion which means there is 28% increase.
“More than one in four rupees we spend, we spend on education. This is the highest of any province of Pakistan as according to available statistics, Punjab spends 17% on education, Sindh 19% and Balochistan 14%,” said Jhagra.
The provincial finance minister said that the KP government is going to spend Rs78.65 billion on health, almost 13% of budget.
“Last year we committed Rs69billion to health had spent Rs65billion. This year’s budget is 21% more than our actual expenditure on health sector last year,” said Jhagra.
Key projects include expansion of Sehat Insaf Card programme; integration of key programmes in field including MNCH, LHW, EPI & Nutrition; standardisation of Disctrict Headquarter Hospitals and Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals across KP; improvement, up-gradation and creation of various healthcare facilities.
Law and Order
For law, order and justice, which includes police, home, jails and administration of justice, KP government has allocated Rs62.5billion against Rs54.5billion last year.
“In Police, we are introducing police station based budgeting to ensure efficiency, and break the thana culture,” said the KP finance minister.
He added that [olice, in addition to police station based budgeting will construct model police stations across KP, extend the traffic warden system to Abbottabad, Swat and Mardan, and significantly enhance the use of technology to help both policing and transparency.
Environment and forestation gets record allocation of Rs6.5 billion.
“In addition to expanding the Billion Tree Tsunami in line with the PTI vision, the department will work on a number of projects including kicking off the clean and green Pakistan initiative,” said Jhagra,
He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will continue to be at the forefront of the battle against climate change in Pakistan.
“I promise we will develop this beautiful province, like never before. We’ll take difficult decisions, but they will bear fruit. If we do that, we will help fulfill vision of our Prime Minister Imran Khan , to recreate welfare state of Medina,” concluded Jhagra.