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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said on Saturday that the former caretaker government in the province had worked beyond its authorities and mandate and presented a two time budget for four and four month and decided to raise the issue before the Public Account Committee.

Speaking at a post-budget press conference here, Finance Minister Ataf Alam Afridi along with Advisor to Chief Minister on Finance Muzammil Aslam said that an interim government was set up two times in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

They said the former interim government had formed for three months, but it continued working for more than 13 month owing to a delay in the election.

He said issues were created owing to delay in holding of elections. He said the government will ask each and every thing from the former caretaker government.

Besides recurring expenditures, the caretaker government also passed a development budget. For the first four month, Rs529billion was presented and again Rs117 Billion for another four months, they said.

The minister said the former caretaker government worked beyond its authorities and mandate in the province. He said it is highly unfortunate that the budget for the current financial year was passed after a hiatus of 11 months. He said the provincial government had released Rs10 Billion for Sehat Card Scheme and given Rs14 Billion for procurement of wheat.

The minister said commitments made by other provinces with the IMF were unfulfilled. He said KP is dependent 93 percent on the centre, adding that the provincial government is foreseeing to receive Rs765 Billion from the centre.

He said the provincial assembly has passed a surplus budget of Rs1,360.37 billion for 11 months of the fiscal year (FY) 2023-24, including the last eight months and the last two months of the present elected government.

Afridi said that the current financial and economic difficulties have made this budget more difficult as on one hand most of the infrastructure of the province was destroyed due to the disastrous floods of 2022 and terrorism on the other hand.

He said the incumbent provincial government is scrutinizing illegal recruitment made in the province. He informed Rs10 Billion had released for Ramazan package.

The minister said KP is producing electricity at Rs1 Per unit with surplus production. He said local income of the province had set at R85billion, which is highly difficult to cross figure. A sum of Rs531 Billion has been set aside for salaries of government employees, he said.

The minister said a total of Rs253 Billion has been estimated for operational expenditures for the settled areas of the province.

He said total ADP of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained Rs117billion as Rs41 Billion had been spent during the last nine months. He said the government has made record spending of Rs26 Billion in tribal districts of the province.

Despite all difficulties, the minister said the total loans of the provincial government are nearly Rs650billion. He said power theft rate is first high in Quetta, Sukkur and Hyderabad then in Peshawar.

He said the government has allocated a budget merely Rs292 Billion for the last months. The Minister said maintenance of law and order is a major challenge for the incumbent government.

The Advisor to the Chief Minister demanded 10th National Finance Commission. He said the government has drastically cut down unnecessary expenditures. He said reforms will be brought in the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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