Peshawar - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has allocated Rs55 billion for the health sector in the annual budget 2022-23.

According to the budget speech, a huge amount of Rs47 billion has been earmarked for Elementary and Secondary (E&S) Education in the provincial budget for FY 2022-23.

This was revealed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Taimur Jhagra while presenting the provincial budget for financial year 2022-23 during a special budget session that was chaired by Deputy Speaker KP Assembly Mahmood Jan here on Monday.

Jhagra announced Rs15 percent increase in salaries and pension of all government employees, Rs15 percent ad-hoc relief allowance, adding the increase for Grade 1-19 employees besides DRA allowance. He said risk allowance of police officials from Grade 7-16 has also 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.

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 ie Rs0.87 billion has jumped to 14.7 percent ie Rs90 billion in 2021-22.

He said amendment in KP Civil Servant Act 1973 has been made under which contributory and provident funds were increased for newly recruited employees under contributory pension scheme under which either lump sum amount one time or long-term investment offer would be given to retired employees.  As many as services of 63,0000 employees would be regularised including 675 ad-hoc doctors from July 1, 2002, regularisation of 58,0000 teachers and 4079 employees of 128 projects of erstwhile FATA during 2022-23.

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

Following inclusion of liver transplant, he said five more chronic diseases including bone marrow transplant, sclerosis, cochlear implants, thalassemia and advance cancer coverage would be included in Sehat Card for which Rs2.5 billion were allocated. 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.

Rs47b earmarked for elementary, secondary education

As many as Rs3 billion were set aside for revamping of secondary care and service delivery while renovation of rehabilitation of 32 hospitals were completed.

Besides allocation of Rs2.7 billion for 58 hospitals in 24 districts for secondary care hospitals under Public Private Partnership, he said that 3000 more beds would be established while the primary care revamping programme carrying allocation of Rs2125 million was producing excellent results.

The minister said renovation of 700 BHUs and RHCs costing Rs82.4 billion have been started while renovation of 500 facilities completed. He said Rs2 billion allocated for strengthening 15 BHUs and RHCs in 15 districts to provide better services to people.

He said Rs10 billion would be spent on provision of free medicines to people besides allocation of Rs500 million for LHS and LHWs in addition to 3500 additional LHWs recruitment and additional funds of Rs1 billion funds for arrangements regarding eradication of polio in Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan and Rs1.3 billion for launching of maternal ambulance service.

Taimur Jhagra said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 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 no tax on land with full exemption from capital value tax (CVT) and registration fee.

He announced that 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 were lower 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 Programme has been introduced under which Rs26 billion targeted subsidies would be provided to one million families of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.