Rs1332b KP budget presented in assembly

PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government yesterday presented the provincial budget for the year 2022-23 with an outlay of Rs1332 billion.

The provincial annual budget was presented in a special budget session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly, chaired by Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan.

The budget, presented by KP Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, envisages a 16 per cent raise in salaries of government employees and a 15 per cent raise in pensions. The budget also allocated Rs1108 billion for the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Rs223 billion for the merged districts. Shuhada package for police was also increased in the budget.

The total current budget of the province is Rs913 billion, with an allocation of Rs789 billion for the settled areas of the province and Rs124 billion for the merged districts.

Also, the minister announced the regularisation of the services of around 63,000 employees, including contractual teachers, ad hoc doctors and the employees of 128 projects underway in the erstwhile FATA region.

Speaking on the assembly floor, Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that the pension reform is the new element in this year’s provincial budget.

“In Pakistan, pension has never been funded. But we have introduced this reform for the first time in Pakistan. We are accused of doing away with pensions, but in fact, we have introduced KP Contributory Pension Programme for the new employees. It will give employees more amounts of pensions,” he added.

Elaborating further, Jhagra said that a new employee upon joining the service will deposit 10% of his salary in the pension fund and the government will deposit 12% of his salary amount in his/her pension.

“If an employee has a monthly salary of Rs50,000, Rs11,000 will be added in his pension each month. Overall, the Contributory Pension Fund will get Rs11 million to Rs12 million the first year and this fund will reach Rs100 billion figure in around six years – and all this money will be of pensioners,” he claimed.

He said the pension fund would also improve the economy of the province. He said the old employees would continue to receive their pensions in their old way, but the new employees will have the new pension mechanism.

| Rs1108b allocated for settled areas while Rs223b for merged dists of the province | 16pc pay raise announced for govt employees and 15pc raise in pensions | Shuhada Package limit increased
| KP finance minister announces to regularise services of around 63,000 employees

As per the budget, the province has to receive an estimated revenue of Rs1332 billion, which includes Rs570 billion from the centre on account of taxes, Rs68.60 billion on account of the war on terror, Rs31 billion for oil and gas royalty, and Rs61.90 billion on account of net hydel profit and arrears. Another Rs85 billion are expected to be generated through provincial taxes and a sum of over Rs88 billion of foreign aid while Rs4 billion of foreign development aid for merged districts has also been estimated.

The finance minister said that the development budget of the province stood at Rs418 billion, comprising Rs319 billion for the settled areas and Rs99 billion for the merged districts.

Sharing a relief package for the government employees, the provincial Finance Minister said that the ‘work from home’ policy will be launched for employees to mitigate the impacts of fuel prices while fleet cards having fuel limits will also be given to the departments to avoid unnecessary waste of fuel resources, he added.

In his budget speech, he sheared details of initiatives and said that treatment for bone marrow transplant, thalassaemia, and advance-stage cancer will also be added to the Sehat Insaf Card. “Four new medical colleges will be established in district Dir, Buner, Charsadda, Haripur,” he said adding youngsters will also be given loans worth around Rs25 billion.

The Minister said that the PTI government has produced 2.1 million job opportunities in the province. “World Bank data also proved that unemployment remained low during last three years tenure,” he said.

The Minister also said that despite hurdles, the PTI led provincial government has earmarked Rs319.2 billion for the development of which only Rs8 billion will be received under the PSDP.

According to the documents, Rs25 billion have been earmarked for Sehat Insaf Card program, and Rs 6 billion for capacity expansion grant of MTIs and its allied entities and medical college. Similarly, a sum of Rs11 billion (current and development) has been set aside for medicines of primary and secondary healthcare, and Rs4 billion for provision of free OPD medicine in all public sector health facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Likewise, an amount of Rs1billion set aside for providing ambulatory services for expectant mothers. Rs2 billion provided as an operational budget to universities.

Likewise, a sum of Rs2 billion has been proposed for provision of missing furniture in schools, while an amount of Rs2.4 billion allocated for Scholarships with a majority of its going to girls. Similarly, a record allocation of Rs227,087 million for Elementary and Secondary Education including Rs3,410 million for current expenditures while Rs16,996million for development and Rs12,857 million foreign aid.

For Energy and power sector, a sum of Rs29,203 million has been set aside under ADP, including Rs527 million for current and Rs7,725 million for development while Rs20,951 million would be received from foreign Aid. A sum of Rs4,191 million for Environment has been allocated, including current Rs4,144 million and Rs47 million for development.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt