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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has presented Rs1,332 billion budget for financial year 2022-23 with allocation of Rs1,108.9 billion for the settled districts and Rs223.1 billion for the newly merged districts comprising areas of the former Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). Presenting the budget in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Provincial Minister for Finance Taimur Salim Khan Jhagra here on Monday said the volume of current year budget was Rs913.8 billion including Rs789.8 billion for the settled districts and Rs124 billion for merged tribal districts.

He said Rs60billion were funded for merged tribal districts and the remaining amount would be provided by federating units and centre as per commitment made with the people of the newly merged districts on the occasion of the merger.

Taimur Jhagra said Rs418.2 billion were allocated for development budget including Rs319.2 billion for uplift of settled districts and Rs99 billion for merged tribal districts, adding Rs383.5 billion were committed funding while remaining would be provided by the federation and provinces that was yet to be received.

Regarding revenue and receipts collections, the Minister said total receipts was estimated at Rs1,332 billion including Rs750.9 billion to be collected from federal taxes and Rs68.6percent as one percent share of divisible pool on war on terror.

He said Rs31 billion would be collected through oil and gas’ royalty, as well as, surcharges and Rs61.9 billion through net hydel power formula in accordance of MoU 2015-16 and arrears.

The Minister said Rs85 billion would be collected through provincial taxes and non-tax revenue, Rs4.3 billion under the head of foreign program assistance (FPA) for settled districts and Rs208.7 billion grant for merged tribal districts. Out of Rs208.7billion grant for merged tribal districts, he said that Rs110 billion were committed grant to be received from center and federating units while Rs212.7 billion receipts through other resources.

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The Minister said Rs447.9 billion would be spent on salaries including Rs372.1 billion in settled districts and Rs75.8 billion through merged tribal districts while Rs107 billion on pension including Rs106 billion in settled districts and Rs one billion in merged tribal districts.

Beside salaries, he said Rs247.4billion would be spent on O&M, emergency and district expenditures, Rs111.4 billion on others current expenditures. The volume of provincial development program including accelerated development program remained Rs275.7 billion including Rs185 billion for settled districts and Rs90.7 billion for merged tribal districts, adding Rs56 billion in merged tribal districts and Rs241 billion were funded that would be provided by the centre and federating units that was yet to transferred.

He said total development budget was Rs418.2 billion including 319.2 billion for settled districts and Rs99 billion for merged tribal districts, adding Rs241 billion including Rs56 billion for total merged areas committed funding to be provided by the centre and provinces that was yet to be received.

Under the foreign program assistance, Rs93.2 billion would be spent including Rs88.9 billion for settled districts and Rs4.3 billion for merged tribal districts while 8.3 billion to be received through Public Sector Development Program for settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Rs26,458 million would be spent on agriculture, Rs4191 on Aukaf, Religious Affairs, Rs73 million on Bureau of Statistics, Rs71653 million on communication and works, Rs227,087 million for elementary and secondary education, Rs29203 million on energy and power, Rs4191 million for environment, Rs1607 million for excise and taxation, Rs32,446 million through finance, Rs6433 million through forestry, Rs6655 million through general administration, Rs205,725 million for health, Rs34,191 million through higher education, Rs101,572 million for home and Rs823 million for housing sectors.

Likewise, Rs4926 million were allocated for industries, Rs1808 million for information and public relations, Rs2990 million for information technology, Rs25725 million for irrigation, Rs1033 million for labour, Rs14377 million for law and justice, Rs22337 million for local government, Rs1426 million for mines and mineral, Rs64372 million for planning and development, Rs3616 million for population welfare, Rs23071 million for public health engineering, Rs30003 million for relief, rehabilitation and settlement, Rs3045 million revenue and estate, Rs6068 million for social welfare, Rs22017 million sports, culture and tourism, Rs2849 million through technical education, Rs12151 million for transport and Rs392 million for Zakat and Usher.

Finance Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra said health department budget has been increased by Rs55 billion, elementary and secondary education by Rs47 billion, police by Rs14 billion and energy and power by Rs11 billion.

The Minister announced Rs15percent increase in the salaries and pension of all the government employees, Rs15 percent ad-hoc relief allowance, adding increase for grade1-19 employees besides DRA allowance.

He said risk allowance of police officials from grade 7-16 have been increased and was brought at par of DRA in line with the police martyrs package. Transport monetization and vehicle leasing policy, change of executive allowance to performance allowance, work from home on Fridays and introduction of fleet cards to save fuel and reduce risk of pilferage across all departments announced.

Taimur Jhagra said 100 percent increase in pension expenditure have been witnessed in last couple of years, adding expenditure of pensions, which was only one percent of total KP budget expenditure in 2003-04, i.e., Rs0.87 billion jumped to 14.7percent, i.e., Rs90 billion in 2021-22.

He said amendments in KP Civil Servant Act 1973 has been made under which contributory and provident fund were increased for the newly recruited employees under contributory pension scheme under which either lump sum amount one time or long terms investment offer would be given to the retired employees.

As many as services of 63,0000 employees would be regularized including 675 ad-hoc doctors from July 1, 2002, regularization of 58,0000 teachers and 4079 employees of 128 projects of erstwhile Fata during 2022-23.

OPD services under Sehat Card Plus program would soon be launched in all government hospitals and patient can available free treatment up to Rs10 million, he said adding Rs25 billion allocated for Sehat Plus Card through which eight Lakh patients were benefited during 2021-22.

He said that Rs53.6 billion earmarked for MTIs, allied and medical hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Four new medical colleges at Dir, Buner, Charsadda and Haripur would be established besides setting up of four new MTIs at Fountains House Peshawar, Kohat Institute of Medical and Dental Sciences, DHQ Charsadda and Women Children Hospital and DHQ Haripur.

Similarly, he said as many as Rs3 billion were set aside for revamping of secondary care and service delivery services while renovation of rehabilitation of 32 hospitals were completed. Beside allocation of Rs2.7 billion for 58 hospitals in 24 districts for secondary care hospital under Public Private Partnership, he said that 3000 more beds would be established while primary care revamping program carrying allocation Rs2125 million was producing excellent results.

The renovation of 700 BHUs and RHCs costing Rs82.4 billion has been started while renovation of 500 facilities completed. He said Rs2 billion allocated for strengthening of 15 BHUs and RHCs in 15 districts provision of better services to people. Rs10 billion would be spent on provision of free medicines to patients, allocation of Rs500 million for LHS and LHWs and 3,500 additional LHWs recruitment and additional funds of Rs one billion funds for arrangements regarding eradication of polio in Bannu and Dera Ismail and Rs1.3 billion for launching of maternal ambulance service were announced.

Taimur Jhagra said KP Government has decided to maintain tax rates of fiscal year 2021-22, adding 20pc relaxation would be provided for re-registration of motor vehicles or first registration and there would be not tax on land with full exemption from capital value tax (CVT) and registration fee.

He announced students of elementary and secondary education are exempted from fee and exempted from library, archives and hostels fees.

The Minister claimed that tax rates of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority was low than other provinces of Pakistan. He said PFM (Public Financial Management) law was being introduced under Article 119 of the Constitution for bringing more transparency in the financial system. Insaf Food Cards program has been introduced under which Rs26 billion targeted subsidy would be provided to one million families of KP.

Taimur Salim Jhagra said Pakistan had achieved 5.7percent and 5.97 percent Gross Domestic Production (GDP) ratio during last two years, which was fastest growth in 15 years.

He said GDP growth has been achieved in all major sectors of the economy including 6.2 percent in services, 7.2 percent in industries and 4.4 percent in agriculture besides substantial increase in the country’s exports and surpassed the figure of USD 32 billion during last 10 years while monthly remittances remained double compare to 2018.

He said the unemployment ratio in Pakistan remained at lowest 4.4 percent compare to six percent in India and 5.4 percent in Sri Lanka. He said Rs 179 million were disbursed, facilitating 150 million people across the province under the Ehsas program during Corona pandemic while Rs800 million were spent for welfare of farmers.

The minister said at least eight million people were provided free-of-cost accommodation and food. He said 170 million people were provided health insurance during 2018-21. The provincial receipts had been increased in last three years by achieving substantial growth. As Rs 75 billion of provincial receipts were generated during 2021-22 against 31.5 billion during 2018-19 and 25.6 billion during 2015-16.

Similarly, KPRA revenue generation has been increased from Rs10.4 billion in 2018-19 to Rs 30.5 billion in 2021-22 while record developmental expenditures to tune of Rs 260 billion during 2021-22 were recorded.

However, the opposition leaders Ikhtiyar Wali and Sardar Babak rejected the KP budget and termed it a jugglery of words. They said that no significant relief was provided to people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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