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KP unveils Rs505b balanced budget [The Nation] 15 Jun, 2016

PESHAWAR - The PTI-led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa yesterday unveiled its budget with total outlay of Rs 505 billion for fiscal year 2016-17, allocating Rs 166 billion for Annual Development Programme.

Terming it a balanced budget, KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said presented the budget amid slogans and protests by the opposition parties.
The KP government would generate Rs 113.
5 billion from its own resources and around Rs 31 billion as foreign projects assistance (FPA).

About revenue targets, Muzaffar Said announced the province would receive Rs 293 billion from the federal divisible pool, which was 17 percent more than the amount received in the outgoing fiscal year.

Likewise, KP would also get Rs 35 billion from the federal government for war on terror, about Rs 19 billion as net profit of hydel power generation, Rs 17 billion as royalty of oil and gas and Rs 15 billion million as incentive on surplus cash balance.

The KP government has allocated Rs 111 billion for education while Rs 12 billion earmarked for primary and secondary education and Rs 1 billion for special education.
The minister announced 100 primary and 100 secondary schools would be built in the next fiscal year.
As per the budget proposals, at least 200 smart schools will be constructed.
Likewise, 100 religious seminaries will be converted into primary schools.

The finance minister said six hostels for women would be constructed besides bringing improvement in 200 higher secondary schools while two cadet colleges each would be set up in Mardan and Swat.
Around 500 new IT labs would set up in government high and higher secondary schools besides constructing examination halls in 100 high and higher secondary schools in the province.

Muzaffar Said announced a 10 percent increase in salaries and pensions, adding 25 percent increase would be made in the pension of those who were above 85.
The raise in salaries, pensions and allowances would cost Rs 14.
20 billion to the provincial exchequer, he averred.

He said Rs 33 billion had been earmarked for improving law and order situation and eliminating terrorism, while Rs 38 would be spent on improvement of health services, which was about 28 percent more than that in the outgoing fiscal year.
About 15,000 lady health workers and vaccinators would be recruited in the next financial year, he disclosed.

The KP government, he said, had earmarked Rs 38.
54 billion for the health sector.
This amount, he added, would be spent on construction and upgrade of hospitals and purchase of equipments and free treatment facilities to patients.
Free treatment facilities would be provided to poor patients of TB, cancer and hepatitis in the province.

He said a new five years programme, “KP Immunization Programme” would be initiated, in addition to a new comprehensive programme for controlling thalassemia, HIV and hepatitis under which testing and screening facilities would be provided at divisional level.

The finance minister said Sehat Sahoolat Programme had been extended to all districts of the province.
The DHQ hospital in Swabi would be reconstructed besides upgrading Civil Hospital Shakara Dara Kohat and Rural Health Centre Ogi Manshera to category D hospitals.

Land would be acquired for the construction of Guju Khan Medical College Swabi and medical college at Timergara Dir Lower besides setting up Khyber Institute of Neurosciences Research Centre in Mardan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical College in Peshawr.

He said Rs 10.
80 billion had been allocated for the communication sector, adding the KP government was also focusing on the repair of roads and bridges besides constructing 650km long roads and completing 17RCC.

Rs 460 million had been allocated for Social Welfare Department, adding special education institutes would be upgraded to elementary schools at divisional level in the provinces, besides taking initiatives for welfare of baggers.

Similarly, he said, the agriculture sector would get Rs 3 billion, Irrigation Department Rs 3.
4 billion and Industry Department Rs 2billion while Rs 2.
9 billion had been earmarked for wheat subsidy, Rs 2 billion for environment and forest department and Rs 600 million for sports.

The budgetary documents said KP had also decided to allocate a special fund of Rs 200 million for the welfare of the transgender community of the province for the first time in the budget history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the provincial government had recommended increase in the ratio of several taxes, including registration fee of vehicles, stamp duty and stamp paper.
It had, however, recommended decrease in transfer fee from 2 percent to 1 percent.

In his budget speech, Muzaffar Said said the KP government had spared Rs 8.
08 billion to pay interest on loans in the next fiscal year.
He said Local Government Department would get Rs 6 billion, while a total of Rs 33.
90 billion would be given to district governments in the province.

He announced 36,232 jobs would be created in the province, while physically-challenged persons would be given Rs 1,000 per month conveyance allowance.

He said the KP government had earmarked Rs 29 billion for overall development of the province.
Some special schemes such as upgrade of seven schools for disabled students, Pehur Hydel Project and Malakand Expressway were also part of the budget document.
The budgetary documents said the provincial government would seek loans of up to Rs 12 billion to meet the budget deficit.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 15-Jun-2016

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